Swindon Mindful Employer Network to relaunch as national mental health crisis deepens

By Nick Batten on 27 September, 2019

Responding to the need to help destigmatise and minimise the impact of mental health issues in the workplace, the Swindon Mindful Employer Network (SMEN) will relaunch in October to help empower organisations to support the mental wellbeing of their staff.

Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem this year, equating to 25% of an average business’ workforce.

SMEN says that in light of these shocking statistics, the scale of mental health issues is a growing concern for businesses.

Mental health is linked to a variety of workplace issues including absenteeism, increased staff turnover and poor performance, and poses a complex set of challenges for business owners and managers to deal with.

Common mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression often carry a great deal of shame and stigma, meaning that it is sometimes difficult – particularly for smaller businesses – to spot the signs early and make adjustments for employees in crisis.

SMEN will not only provide expert advice and guidance to businesses, but it will also act as a forum for business owners and managers to share their experiences with peers and mental health professionals, keeping them informed as mental health and wellbeing in the workplace best practice develops.

The relaunch event on 14th October, which will be the first of five events delivered throughout 2019/2020, is to be held at Alexandra House and will feature talks from three expert guest speakers, who will give their take on how to approach mental health and wellbeing in the workplace in times of change.

Senior Immigration Lawyer at Osborne Clarke, Helga Butler, will discuss the impact of Brexit on staff morale and wellbeing, Steve Bewick, Senior Vice President of Dormakabawill explain why putting people first is crucial when managing change and Faye Whitmarsh, Head of Culture and Engagement at Nationwide, will outline the steps Nationwide has taken to promote staff wellbeing during times of economic uncertainty.

SMEN is funded by Swindon Borough Council and is delivered in partnership with Business West and Swindon and Gloucestershire Mind.

Ian Larrard, Director of Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative at Business West, said,“Part of the role of the Initiative is to help guide and challenge businesses to do the right thing, meaning that we are a vocal champion for removing the stigma of mental health and enhancing wellbeing for everyone that works in Swindon.”

Hazel Howe, CEO of Swindon and Gloucestershire Mind, added,“Swindon Mindful Employer’s Network is a fantastic forum to help broaden participation in and open up the conversation about this very important issue.”

Register to attend the 14th October event here: https://smen-october-2019.eventbrite.co.uk