The Pioneering Care Partnership’s Better Health at Work Award (BHAWA) team and Wellbeing for Life delivered a Mental Health Conference to over 100 attendees from 37 different County Durham businesses at the Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe.
The conference highlighted the benefits of raising awareness of Mental Health in the workplace and how reducing stigma can create a positive culture around the subject which in turn can reduce absenteeism and improve productivity.
The day introduced businesses to Mindfulness, opened the dialogue on suicide and provided some interesting facts about mental wellbeing and included lots of interactive activities from Wellbeing for Life including ‘there is an elephant in the room’ and a lunch time walk.
With guest speakers including David Brown from If U Care Share, Karen Hughes from Sparklicious Living, Emily Pearson from MIND on behalf of the Sally Anne Foundation and Susanne Nichol from the TUC.
Karen Hughes said: “It was so lovely to be invited to speak at the Mental Health Training Conference and share a little of my knowledge of Mindfulness. It’s fabulous to see organisations taking positive steps to improve Mental Health in the workplace for their employees, after all mentally healthy staff are happier staff.”
David Brown, from If U Care Share Foundation, added: “We were delighted to be involved in the event. It was great to see so many organisations taking the subject of mental health so seriously.
“Suicide is often an extremely difficult topic for people to talk about and raising awareness is vital. It can be very hard in a workplace to talk around the subject and If U Care Share Foundation have a variety of services they can offer to assist you. They believe that ‘there is always a way’ and that talking can save lives.”
There were also guest speakers from a number of businesses including Proctor and Gamble, DWP Seaham and ZF TRW who are all part of the Better Health at Work Award.
They shared some interesting ideas for workplace campaigns and best practice including the importance of recruiting Mental Health First Aiders and how improving overall wellbeing, can in turn improve mental wellbeing.
The types of things discussed were: encouraging staff to take part in physical activity, how healthy eating can improve mood and suggested introducing holistic therapies to staff during their working day.
It’s hoped similar events will be hosted throughout the year focusing on various topics relating to Health and Wellbeing in the workplace.
The Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) deliver BHAWA in County Durham in partnership with County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust.