Thriving Together: Nurturing Mental Health at M&S

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we spoke to Womenswear Designer, Emily, to learn more about her journey of resilience and self-care, highlighting the supportive culture that sets M&S apart.

Hi there! I'm Emily, and I'm proud to be part of the dynamic team at M&S, where I work as a Designer specialising in Women's Denim & casual bottoms. I am also a BIG rep - a position that allows me to champion the voices of our colleagues and collaborate with business leaders to drive M&S's transformation forward. Working from the Support Centre in London, I've had the privilege of contributing to M&S's vision for almost 5 years now.

My journey with mental health began around the age of 15, when I first recognised symptoms of depression. Despite hoping it would pass, I eventually sought help during my final year of university at 21 and received a diagnosis of anxiety and depression. This period marked some of my toughest times - I struggled with daily life and neglected self-care. However, with support and resilience, I've managed to navigate through those darker moments.

Living with depression and anxiety means facing waves of intensity, but I've learned to manage and cope, especially during challenging times at work. Thankfully, I have a very understanding Line Manager who supports my mental health journey, allowing flexibility when needed. Whether it's adjusting my work hours or working remotely, I appreciate the understanding and accommodation that M&S offers.

I’m also part of M&S’s Health & Wellbeing network, which brings together colleagues who are affected by physical or mental health challenges or have a passions to help colleagues and customers who do. I’ve found it to be a particularly safe space for colleagues to share their stories and coping strategies both personally and professionally.

One of my key strategies for managing my mental health is through running, which I incorporate into my routine, particularly in the mornings. My manager's flexibility in adjusting my schedule to accommodate this activity has been invaluable to my wellbeing.

Every day, I continue to prioritise my mental health, exploring factors that contribute to my wellbeing and discovering new tools for managing depression and anxiety. By sharing my story, I hope to inspire others to seek help without hesitation or shame, fostering a culture of support and understanding within our M&S community.

Join us at M&S, where your wellbeing matters as much as your contribution to our shared success.

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