Almost 50 businesses from across Lancashire and the North West have taken part in Lancashire Mind’s fourth annual Workplace Wellbeing conference, an event dedicated to sharing best practice for improving employee mental health.
The ‘Time to Talk About Wellbeing at Work’ conference, which moved online for the first time due to the pandemic, was held on February 4 to support Time to Change's national campaign 'Time to Talk Day'. The campaign aims to tackle stigma and discrimination around mental health.
A recent national Mind report into ‘how the coronavirus pandemic has affected our mental health’ found that that more than half of adults, 60 percent, and over two thirds of young people, 68 percent, said their mental health had deteriorated during lockdown. With so many adversely affected by the pandemic, focus on employee wellbeing has never been so important.
The morning of the conference involved presentations from four speakers: Emma Mamo - Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind, Jamie Compton-Rea – Head of Business Development at the National Centre for Suicide Prevention Education and Training, Ama Afrifa-Tchie - Head of People, Wellbeing & Equity at Mental Health First Aid England and Jo Smith - Health and Wellbeing Strategic Lead at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust. The afternoon of the conference revolved around interactive discussion groups, unpacking the morning’s presentations and sharing good practice.
During her keynote presentation Emma Mamo said: "The pandemic has had a universal impact on all employers: no one has been unscathed.
“It's important to try to create the social engagements that would usually happen organically in the workplace. That is why events such as the conference are vital in sharing the practical tools available and to show organisations that it can be done and how to do it.”
Tommy McIlravey CEO at Lancashire Mind said: “This is the fourth annual conference Lancashire Mind has hosted and it was great to see people eager to get involved and engage with the new virtual format.
“The conference provided an opportunity to learn from other employers about their experience of supporting their workforce and to meet a range of organisations who can offer assistance to employers and provide them with the confidence to make the change in their own organisations, no matter where they are on their wellbeing journey or their size.”
One conference delegate shared:” I haven’t attended the conference before, so was unsure what to expect. Understanding what other organisations have in place, what’s working and what isn’t has been extremely useful. It’s been really inspiring hearing the speakers and I’ll be taking a lot of practical tips away with me as well as making some really useful connections.”