Looking after our Wellbeing By Peter Gibbinson
Peter Gibbinson is a Managing Director at Standard Chartered Bank, where he has worked for 14 years – currently as Head of a controls and surveillance team. Previously he ran several regional and global trading businesses.
Peter studied Biochemistry at Bristol University. He considered applying for a PHD but decided to follow his fascination with financial markets, and became a Junior Foreign Exchange Trader at an international bank in 1993.
In addition Peter is passionate about breaking the stigmas around mental health; he co-chairs the Standard Chartered UK Wellbeing Committee and is the West lead for Financial Markets disability employee resource group – he is also a mental health first aider, and believes that mental health and physical health need to be seen equally as part of our overall wellbeing.
He lives in Kent with his wife and 6 year old son, and in his spare time is a keen fisherman and photographer.
- Why is it so important to look after your wellbeing?
‘’Our wellbeing effects all aspects of our life – home, work, relationships, our confidence and self-esteem. Looking after our wellbeing means we can be our best self for all those aspects of our whole.’’
- Have you had a personal experience with Mental Illness?
‘’I’ve suffered with anxiety and depression from a very young age (about 9/10) but didn’t even know the words for it at the time to describe what I was feeling – at various stages through my life mental health has affected me, but you learn coping mechanisms and how best to manage it.’’
- What are the signs of mental illness in adults?
‘’The signs can take so many forms (how long have you got!) – stop taking care of your personal appearance, not wanting to mix with friends, losing interest in hobbies/sports that you were keen on before, tiredness, anger, insomnia ..the list goes on. It’s worth noting that in a work environment the signs of mental illness can often look like poor performance, which is why it’s so important to be sensitive and aware of mental health issues.’’
- How are you supporting your colleagues’ wellbeing at Standard Chartered Bank?
‘’I co-chair the UK wellbeing committee, and am the West lead for Financial Markets disability employee group – we have a number of mental health first aiders in several centres now (and looking to expand further) which is one of the key channels of support, but the UK bank also has a comprehensive health plan and Employee Assistance Programme that staff can use if needed. ‘’
- What have you done at Standard Chartered Bank to break the stigma of Mental Health?
‘’We have run a number of “This is Me” campaigns where several employees talk about their personal experience with mental health challenges. We also run a number of talks around mental health and wellbeing over the course of the year – and email and intranet based blogs and awareness campaigns.’’
- What are your top tips to improve your wellbeing?
‘’Firstly I would say if you feel like you are struggling reach out – whether a friend, GP, mental health first aider or any of the excellent phone and internet based mental health support charities in the UK (e.g the Samaritans) In terms of practical advice the key word is balance – it’s about getting plenty of sleep and rest, a good diet, try not to self-medicate with alcohol, and meet up with friends and join local clubs that interest you where you can make new friends; keep work in perspective in terms of your whole self and ensure you make time for yourself.’’