Mental Health Awareness Month may be coming to an end, but at You Make It we are really proud to promote women's mental health and wellbeing everyday of the year. In recognition of this, we wanted to shed light on the origins of our holistic approach and its benefits. Hear from Asma, our Founder and CEO, Lauren Rose an Alumni from 2018 and Roxi our Programmes Manager about how we ensure that wellbeing is always prioritised both with the women we work with as well as within our team.
"We work with a very specific demographic, one that has traditionally paid little attention to their mental wellbeing, in spite of often traumatic experiences as children and young people. Our work at YMI is so much about fostering a stronger sense of entitlement amongst our women, whether that's a right to the city, earning opportunities in it, or therapy - why should mental wellness only be the preserve of the middle classes?
Take up of services amongst our women, who have been raised not to speak up about what goes on at home, has been amazing. We and they know that to truly make long term changes in how they experience life, they must look at what makes them who they are, celebrating their stories, while also accessing support to heal them where so much pain has been inflicted on them. This holistic approach to working with our women has yielded fantastic results - yes, our women go on to become financially independent, but this is as a result of feeling happier and with a much stronger sense of self esteem." Asma Shah, Founder and CEO of You Make It
Photo by Ben Sage Photography
“When I started the You Make It program, I was sure I had hit rock bottom mentally, physically and emotionally. I had no idea of what I wanted to do with my career and I just felt lost.
I had been on an NHS referral list for therapy for over three months, so when I was made aware that I had access to therapy through YMI, I jumped at the chance. I had a therapist who felt like a friend which helped me feel comfortable and my sessions were flexible and understanding in response to the unpredictability of my Multiple Sclerosis.
Along with the rest of the program, the support I received helped me reset my mental health and get into the right mindset to start my own business.” Lauren Rose, 2018 You Make It Alumni
Photo by Bettina Adela Photography
"The beauty of You Make It is that our emphasis on mental health is not superficial or the result of chasing trends, but one that comes from the heart. The value of wellbeing is not just promoted to our participants, the same approach is applied within our team. We acknowledge that it’s not always easy to disconnect from what’s going on in your personal life just because it’s 11am on a Monday and your to-do list is growing by the hour.
Just 1 year into my role at You Make It, the loss of my dad to cancer triggered an overwhelming sense of grief that was very complicated and painful to navigate. The care my team offered, meant that I was never made to feel like I was failing, but just going through an understandably tough time. I was encouraged to talk about how I felt and all the catch ups, check-ins and taking teary walks in the local park with my team made me realise how supported I was. Those small, but extremely human touches show just how different You Make It is - we don’t just try to get work done, we connect with each other authentically because our happiness and wellbeing really matters in and out of the workplace." Roxi Jahanshahi, Programmes Manager at You Make It
Photo by Ben Sage Photography