News - 01 September 2021

Free webinar series to help employers start mental health conversations

Employers are being encouraged to attend a series of free webinars designed to promote talking about mental health in the workplace.

The sessions have been arranged by the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot (MHPP) and will be led by mental health charity Mind, the University of Derby, and the University of Lincoln.

Each session is targeted at a different type of workplace and will last approximately 45 minutes. The schedule and themes are:

Friday 10 September, 10am – offices working in an office environment

Tuesday 14 September, 10am – businesses working in a hybrid office and home environment

Thursday 16 September, 10am – retail, construction and industry based organisations

Bridge the Gap, Start a Chat

The webinar series follows the launch of MHPP’s Bridge the Gap, Start a Chat campaign which gives businesses and organisations of all sizes and sectors the help they need to encourage staff and bosses alike to open up about their mental health.

The campaign and webinars aim to help employers understand the link between good mental health and business productivity.

Kate Wood of the University of Derby said: “From our research, we know that employers, line managers and employees can all find it difficult to open up about mental health while at work.

“But poor mental health is one of the biggest causes of sickness absences, and this has only been exacerbated by COVID-19.

“These free webinars will help those working in different sectors understand that it’s actually easier than they might think to start conversations around mental health at work.

“Starting a small mental health campaign at work and getting staff talking can make all the difference to their wellbeing. Happier staff means fewer absences and better productivity in the long-run, so it’s a win-win for any employer.

Sally Newnham of the University of Lincoln added: “We’ve already seen plenty of businesses download free resources as part of the Bridge the Gap, Start a Chat campaign, but we know many will still have questions.

“So we designed these webinars to guide employers through the first steps of setting up their own mental health campaign and encouraging their staff to start conversations around mental health.

“If enough employers get involved, we will see a huge reduction in stigma about mental health across the region, and happier workplaces where staff can thrive.

“We’d encourage any employers or line managers looking to make a difference at work to attend – it could make a massive difference.”

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