Ipswich businesses plan conference to tackle mental health issues

Ipswich businesses plan conference to tackle mental health issues

Poor mental health in the workplace is costing UK employers billions every year and a conference to help businesses in the region tackle the issue is taking place in Ipswich.

The Proactive Workplace Mental Health Summit is taking place on 30 March at the University of Suffolk’s Waterfront Building.

The conference aims to help companies understand the costs of poor mental health and stress in the workplace. It will also help to show the positive action they can take to address the issue to benefit their employees and their bottom line. The event is being organised by Suffolk Libraries’ new HIVE network in partnership with Suffolk Mind.

A 2017 government-commissioned report by Deloitte estimated that poor mental health in the workplace costs employers between £33bn and £42bn every year. Although workplace absence has fallen in recent years, the proportion of days lost due to mental health issues has risen.

However, the research also found that the return on investment of workplace mental health interventions can make a big difference when it comes to tackling the issue.

HIVE has also engaged key business leaders to support the development of the conference with the following acting as advisors to the programme: David Sheepshanks CBE, Business and Life Coach for Vistage Group and former Chairman of Ipswich Football Club; Doug Field, CEO of East of England Co-op and Chair of the LEP; and Jon Neal, CEO of Suffolk Mind.

Jon Neal, Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind, said: “Wellbeing and health in the workplace has never been so important, or had such a high profile as it does right now. It’s not just about social responsibility and being a considerate employer because it’s nice to be one – there is more and more evidence of its impact on the bottom line as well. Mental wellbeing in the workplace makes a big difference, not just to sickness and absence rates, but also to motivation and performance. The most successful employers are those that create environments in which their teams can meet their physical and emotional needs in healthy ways.”

The all-day conference will feature speakers and discussions exploring the legal framework around the Equality Act, Disability Discrimination Act and Mental Health Act review. It will also show delegates how to put a mental health and wellbeing framework in place.

Speakers on the day will represent the experiences of top companies including UBS, Direct Line Group, Astra Zeneca, ACAS, Adnams, C&I Wellbeing, RWE, Aon, Havas Creative Group and City of London Corporation.

There is an early bird 33% discounted rate of £199 for bookings before 7 February. There are also opportunities on the day for sponsors and exhibitors. Anyone interested should contact Nikki Hulse at Suffolk Libraries at Nikki.hulse@suffolklibraries.co.uk

About HIVE:

HIVE is a new network which is being launched by Suffolk Libraries with support from other local organisations to help businesses across East Anglia grow and prosper. HIVE aims to bring together experienced business support organisations and inspiring experts to help local businesses drive success, making the most of Suffolk Libraries’ network of contacts and reputation as an organisation which helps to bring people together and strengthen communities.

For more information on the programme and to book a place, visit hivesuffolk.co.uk

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