The Chartered Governance Institute - Isle of Man

Isle of Man

Welcome to the winter edition of our Wellbeing Updates.

Winter 2023

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Winter Wellbeing


Welcome to the fifth edition of our wellbeing newsletter. Previous editions can be found on the Isle of Man Branch wellbeing page. In our last newsletter we saw spring finally on the way with brighter and longer days. Today with the rain and forecasts of heat spell, summer and autumn still seem to be doing battle.

We apologise for the lack of Summer and Autumn editions, but hopefully we will be back on track again. October sees World Mental Health Day on the 10th with this year’s theme Mental Health is a human right, more of that later.

Mental health is a particular problem on the Island but unfortunately there are no statistics available, other than taking figures from the UK, to know exactly how many people are struggling. What we do know is that the suicide rate on the Island is currently far too high. We must all act together in addressing this problem. It is no good solely relying on Manx Care, businesses leaders must do more to look after their staff, colleagues and friends can do their bit as too can associations such as the Chartered Governance Institute.

Members will be aware our presentation in September was given by the Samaritans and those in attendance learnt about their invaluable work. This edition will examine suicide and World Mental Health Awareness Day.


Are you OK?

This can be an extremely difficult topic for many of us but reaching outside your comfort zone to start a conversation might save someone’s life.

Keep an eye out for warning signs:

A person may be at high risk of attempting suicide if they:

  • threaten to hurt or take their own life
  • talk or write about death, dying or suicide
  • actively look for ways to take their own life, such as stockpiling tablets
  • Talking about suicide – Any talk about suicide, dying, or self-harm, such as “I wish I hadn’t been born,” “If I see you again…” and “I’d be better off dead.”
  • Looking for a way to end their life – Searching for a method or seeking access to medicines/ other objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
  • Preoccupation with death – Unusual focus on death, dying, or violence. 
  • No hope for the future – Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and being trapped. Belief that things will never get better or change.
  • Self-loathing, self-hatred – Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self-hatred. Feeling like a burden.
  • Getting affairs in order – Making out a will. Giving away prized possessions. Making arrangements for family members.
  • Saying goodbye – Unusual or unexpected visits or calls to family and friends. Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again.
  • Withdrawing from others – Withdrawing from friends and family. Increasing social isolation. Desire to be left alone.
  • Self-destructive behaviour – Increased alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, unsafe sex. Taking unnecessary risks.
  • Sudden sense of calm – A sudden sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed can mean that the person has made a decision to attempt suicide.

Those considering suicide, however, can be experts as hiding their feelings. They might have been living with such feelings for months or much longer. Often they do not want to be helped or know how to ask. People might make comments such as “what would you do if I wasn’t here?” It might seem they are stating how invaluable they are, but think, could it mean something more?

If you do notice any of these warning signs in a friend, relative or loved one, no matter how subtle encourage them to talk about how they are feeling. Ask “Are you ok?” Then ask “Are you really ok?”

Please see the following to assist you in starting a conversation: Talking about suicide ( There are many other sites to assist.

For those struggling


If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please remember we care. Is there someone you can talk to? A friend, relative, or your doctor. Speaking up is a huge and difficult step to take. It is impossible to know how someone will react. Trust is vital when opening up to someone.

Think of how you are feeling now and what you want to do. Can you put it off to talk to someone? I was once in that position. There was a road to home and road I could have walked elsewhere. My life was falling apart and I had already booked an appointment with my doctor. At that stage I felt I could wait two or three days to see what the doctor had to say (after deliberating for about half an in hour in the rain).

When struggling I would read articles on depression and suicidal thoughts alone, ending up in tears before “pulling myself together” and joining my wife. I went to bed wanting to die and woke unable to face the world, but doing so all the same.

If you cannot face talking to anyone read about others and how they have recovered. Try logging on to a site such as Manx PACT, the Samaritans or Anxiety uk.

There is a list of available help at the end of this newsletter.

What has this to do with the CGI?

In a study by Law Care and Sheffield University (Life in the Law 2020/21) respondents stated those responsible for wellbeing and mental health are:

Myself:                                                86.6%

My Employer:                                     84.1%

My Professional Body:                        57.6%

My regulator:                                      46.2%

[Legal] educational institutions           25.6%

Whilst we most certainly are responsible for our own wellbeing often our mental health can deteriorate without our realising. We spend so long in the workplace and working conditions can have a huge bearing on our wellbeing. Similarly, we have spent a lot of time and energy in qualifying as Charted Governance Professionals. We maintain our CDPs and act in accordance with the principals of the CGI.  it is only right that the Institute takes an interest in its members wellbeing.

We, your local branch and Wellbeing Committee, want you to know we care about our members and this newsletter is part of the action we wish to take to assist members.

World Mental Health Day

The 10th October marked World Mental Health Day with this year’s theme being: “Mental health is a universal human right”. Mental health is a basic human right for all people. Everyone, whoever and wherever they are, has a right to the highest attainable standard of mental health. This includes the right to be protected from mental health risks, the right to available, accessible, acceptable, and good quality care, and the right to liberty, independence and inclusion in the community.

Now translate that to the workplace. Imagine employers are breaching their staff’s human rights when they allow or turn a blind eye to bullying. Imagine all employers taking mental health into consideration when devising health and safety polices. Managers becoming responsible for the mental wellbeing of their teams every bit as much as their physical wellbeing. Or imagine Institutes, such as the CGI considering their members wellbeing in the same way they do professional development. Qualification programmes that include a module on wellbeing.

But then extend it further to include regulators who must consider the wellbeing of their license holders. From small changes such as not sending communications late in the day or on a Friday afternoon, to looking at the license holder as a whole rather than penalising, say, the MLRO who might be understaffed or working with resistance from the board and staff.

We are already seeing pressures on companies to change from the younger employees who rightly demand more from their employers. Those. Who do not adapt will find recruitment and retention of staff increasing difficult. Those making changes now are already reaping the rewards of increased productivity, lower staff turnover and lower absenteeism and presenteeism. Similarly unless professional bodies adapt and change they will struggle to attract the talent of the new mobile workforce.

A quote to finish for any of our members struggling.

Juan Moore Quote



Tel: 116123

Isle Stand up to Suicide

Tel: 803040



Manx PACT has a directory and links to many support and wellbeing services on the Island

Wellbeing Committee

Should you wish to contact a member of the wellbeing committee for a confidential chat, their details are below:

Juan Moore: email

Emily Lightfoot

David Griffin: email

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