Swindon employers gather to consider how to support employees coping with depression

By Anita Jaynes on 7 October, 2016

A one-off themed awareness event on depression is being planned by the Swindon Mindful Employer Network at the Jurys Inn Swindon on Monday November 21.  The session entitled Depression: what employers need to know will help to eliminate the myths and stigma surrounding this particular mental illness and provide guidance and advice to local businesses on how to support staff suffering from clinical depression.

Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms. They range from lasting feelings of sadness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety. There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite and complaining of various aches and pains. The severity of the symptoms can vary.

Guest speaker will be Mandy Rutter who is Head of Resilience and Trauma Management Services at Validium.  Mandy returns to Swindon after taking part in a Swindon Mindful Employer Network event several years ago.  Mandy said: “I was extremely pleased to be invited back to Swindon and to talk again to the network which has an excellent reputation for supporting local employers. I’m particularly keen to share experience and ideas on the impact of clinical depression in the workplace. As a provider of employee care services we receive requests for support and advice from employees throughout the UK and we believe there are many practical ways businesses can help their people at these difficult times. Being supportive to your staff is very important to individuals and to your business and there are plenty of cases where employees, with a little care from their managers, handle their depression and remain motivated and productive at work.”

The awareness event includes an interview and Q&A session with special guest Cormac MacMahon who is News Editor at Heart FM. Melanie Richens of the UK College of Personal Development will chair the occasion. Also taking part will be Helen Baker and Karen Holman from the Swindon branch of the Depression Alliance which is managed by Swindon Mind and currently provides a self help group.

Karen and Helen met through their common illness of depression. They met on a weekly basis and became friends and through their friendship decided to help other people who are suffering depression. Both agreed to run the Depression Alliance support group in Swindon which meets once a month in the Olive Tree Café near Twigs at Cheney Manor.

Frances Mayes from Swindon Borough Council Public Health Department which funds the local network, said: “We ask employers to decide which mental health topics the network should concentrate on and we have found that depression is a priority request for advice and support. One in five people will experience depression at some point in their life so it is not surprising that employers are recognising this. The network is so pleased to receive generous support again from Jurys Inn Swindon who are one of our keenest supporters over the last 8 years. It’s a great venue and look forward to working again with the professional team at the hotel”.

John Markham who is General Manager at Jurys Inn Swindon added: “Jurys Inn Swindon are pleased to be supporting the Swindon Mindful Employer Network once again and we very much hope local businesses will take advantage of this important initiative and attend this special one-off event. I am aware of the high interest by local employers in helping staff with mental health issues and we are keen to develop a mentally healthy workforce here at Jurys Inn.”

Places for this event are available for representatives of Swindon Employers only. Booking is essential.

For more information about this event please contact: smen@swindonmind.org