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Cardiff conference aims to improve workplace mental health

The corporate and personal benefits of improving workplace mental health and  wellbeing will be under the spotlight at a charity conference taking place in Cardiff this week (January 29th).

Designed for businesses and organisations who are looking to address the importance of staff mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.  The “Taking Care of Business: Mental Health at Work” conference will include presentations from people with first-hand experiences which also offer practical insight and tips on how to support the workforce.

It is the second in a series of mental health conferences launched by commercial law firm Darwin Gray and business support consultants Mabis – a branch of the independent economic development company, Menter a Busnes (MaB).

Awareness of mental health wellbeing is growing, and its promotion in the workplace is not only crucial for safeguarding staff, but it can enhance productivity.

Profits from the conference – to be held at the St Fagans National Museum of History – will be donated to South Wales mental health charity, Valleys Steps.

Featuring expert speakers from across Wales and the UK, the conference will cover various aspects of mental health. Among the discussion points are mindful employment, mental health strategy, financial wellbeing and nutritional wellbeing, which all play a part in developing a resilient and healthy workforce.

There will also be opportunities to attend taster sessions in sophrology as well as employment law and HR advice clinics.

According to statistics in a recent Labour Force Survey published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 602,000 workers were suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2018/19. This the Labour Force Survey says equates to a loss of 12.8 million working days.

As part of its 30th-anniversary celebrations, Menter a Busnes has already held a series of mental health awareness and fundraising events – including a dedicated Health and Wellbeing Day for its staff members.

Said Menter a Busnes director, Elen Llwyd Williams, “Mental health and wellbeing was very much a hot topic for 2019, but there is still lots to do to keep it in the spotlight and remove the stigma surrounding mental illness.

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“In-house training and awareness sessions for staff is a great starter for ten to begin the conversation. Since undertaking sessions with staff at Menter a Busnes, there are definitely more open conversations taking place both internally and with our clients, such as sharing information about coping strategies and improving general health and wellbeing.”

Among the MaB staff who took part in the day was Elen Rebeca. She said, “The staff day held in July was very well organised, and it gave a realisation on the importance of wellbeing and health in the workplace, not only on a personal level but to boost the effectiveness and positive work environment within MaB.”

Fflur Jones, Head of Employment & HR at Darwin Gray and Menter a Busnes Board Chair said, “We are delighted with the success of the first conference in Aberystwyth, and we are looking forward to building on that success with the next one in Cardiff.

“Mental health is looming large in the mind of the employer, but there are many challenges to overcome and approaches to consider when attempting to support employees in respect of their mental health, both in and out of the workplace.

“I am pleased that this conference is a useful tool to educate more businesses and organisations as we continue to help promote good mental health across Wales.”

Corinna Lloyd-Jones, HR Director at Mabis, said “We are proud that this new conference is such a success. It is an excellent opportunity to hear from expert speakers how good mental health is good for business as well as people, and what employers can do to effectively invest in improving workplace mental wellbeing.

“We are also delighted to support instrumental Welsh mental health charities in the process.”