CPD Hours Level
Conference expert panelInformation 6 UpdateInformation
SRA Competency D


With workplace mental ill-health costing employers in excess of £26 billion per year, it is important for all employers to not only address this issue but also take practical steps to protect the wellbeing of their employees.

The Government has stressed the critical importance of helping employees thrive at work and there will never be a better opportunity to lead from the front on mental health. From building resilience to tackling stigma, to skilling up the workforce, this topical Conference chaired by Carol Duff will provide guidance to employers and HR professionals on how to make more proactive steps to invest in addressing and improving mental wellbeing whilst at the same time improving productivity and adding value.

What You Will Learn

This conference will cover the following topics:

9.30am - 10.15am: Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

Jonathan Naess, Stand to Reason

This session will explore MHFA covering what mental health is (and isn’t) and why employers need to invest in mental health. Speaking from his own background and personal experience, Jonathan will explore:

  • 3 steps to a mentally healthy organisation: sensitise, skill and sustain
  • Approach of MHFA to support the whole organisation
  • Measuring the impact
  • Short film (2 minutes)
  • Mental health/physical first aid - a change in legislation?

10.15am - 11.00am: Mental Health & Employment Law

Gareth Brahams, Brahams Dutt Badrick French LLP

This session considers the interaction between employment law and mental ill health. It will explore the answers to questions such as:

  • What forms of mental ill health amount to disability?
  • What are reasonable adjustments that should be made?
  • What steps does an employer have to take to alleviate stress?
  • Do employers have to go easy on performance management when an employee is stressed?
  • What if an employee says they cannot continue with a disciplinary process because it is too stressful?
  • When can an employer dismiss for long term work absence related to mental health?
  • The interrelationship between long term disability insurance, ill health early retirement and continued employment

11.00am - 11.15am: Break for Morning Refreshments

11.15am - 12.00pm: Stress and Manager Behaviour

Carole Watling, Independent Chartered Occupational Psychologist

This session aims to de-mystify stress, clarify how people react to pressure, describe the sources of work-related pressure and explain how management style can help prevent problems. The session will describe:

  • How stress affects us and the warning signs
  • Myths around stress
  • Sources of work-related pressure
  • Common problems
  • Respectful and Responsible management
  • Managing and Communicating
  • Managing individuals and teams
  • Managing Conflict
  • The positive manager

12.00pm - 12.45pm: Challenging Stigma and Discrimination

Maisie McKenzie, MHFA Instructor

This session will highlight how stigma and discrimination can be a barrier to individuals’ mental health improving or deteriorating. Recovery from poor mental health and/or mental illness is not only positive, it is likely. Find out how to define mental health, understand the factors that affect mental health and how to identify the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health issues:

  • What is mental health what does it meant to you - clarify what ‘mental health’ means?
  • Understand the factors in ones personal life and workplace which may affect an individuals mental health
  • Mental Health and the Law
  • Explore the impact of stigma and discrimination as a barrier to prevent recovery, improvement or lead to deterioration

12.45pm - 2.00pm: Questions on Morning Session and Break for Lunch

2.00pm - 2.50pm: Increasing Staff Skills & Mental Health First Aid

Carol Duff, University of Lincoln and Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation NHS Trust

This session will explore a range of training options including mental health first aid and how they can be used to skill up your workforce. Common questions that come up in training, how to get staff buy in and how can training can address some of the myths will be explored and the session will draw information from some of the growing body of research evidence and share the speaker’s personal experiences as an occupational therapist and as a trainer.

2.50pm - 3.40pm: Shouting Health as Loudly as Safety - A Wellbeing Journey

Gareth Mullen, Thames Water

This session is a case study of Thames Water’s journey into improving the health and wellbeing of its employees. Find out what can be achieved in a relatively short period of time, and which is scale able to an organisation depending upon its size or resources. Lots of hints, tips, approaches and strategies that all companies can learn from:

  • Making an immediate impact…take an annual approach
  • Monitor the statistics and actively promote the right outcomes achieved
  • Gain the right feedback…listen to the silent voice of the majority, not solely the vocal voice of the minority

3.40pm - 3.55pm: Afternoon Refreshments

3.55pm - 4.45pm: Building Resilience - A Workshop

Carole Watling, Independent Chartered Occupational Psychologist

This session will illustrate how pressure affects our wellbeing and describe techniques which strengthen mental resilience. It will explain:

  • How we can adapt to pressure
  • How to build confidence
  • How to increase our sense of purpose
  • The importance of social support
  • How to become self-aware
  • How to create a short term ‘rescue plan’
  • Developing a long term action plan
  • The value of developing coping skills and using positive psychology

4.45pm - Close: Chair's Closing Summary and Questions & Answers

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Conference | 03.07.2019

London | 9:30am - 5:15pm

Mental Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace - 2019 Conference

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9:30am - 5:15pm
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