The event had sold out well in advance and over 100 delegates from a range of local businesses and other employers attended.
Our fellow organisers and hosts were CIPD, Acas, Carlisle Eden Mind (our charity of the year for 2018) and Caroline Does Yoga.
We are also grateful to our trade stand exhibitors: Country Fruit and Veg, Rehab Jigsaw, Eden Rivers Trust, Westfield Health, Lakeland Capabilities and Bespoke Minds.
The day started with delegates having the opportunity to participate in optional sessions of yoga (provided by Caroline Robinson of Caroline does Yoga) or mindfulness (led by Sara-Jane McLeish of Carlisle Eden Mind). Both sessions were well attended and afterwards there was a chance for delegates to network while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee and a bite to eat.
After an initial welcome by Nigel Crebbin of Burnetts, the presentations began with Michael Boaden of Carlisle Eden Mind setting the scene with an introduction to issues around mental health at work. Terry Duffy of Acas North West then gave a lively and informative talk on handling workplace conversations relating to mental health, focusing in particular on the qualities of good and effective managers.
Following lunch, Dr Katie Graham began the afternoon’s presentations. Dr Graham, who has a special interest in the benefits of good nutrition, delivered a passionate talk on the foundations of wellbeing: sleep, exercise, relaxation, nutrition and connecting with others. Delegates were asked to consider making one small change to their daily lives to improve their own wellbeing.
Nigel Crebbin and Anna Lovett, solicitors in the Burnetts employment and HR team, then provided the legal perspective on mental health in the workplace. They particularly focused on the Equality Act 2010, the Act’s wide definition of disability and the laws relating to discrimination arising from disability and the legal duty on an employer to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace.
Michael Boaden of Carlisle Eden Mind then took to the floor once more to give practical advice on devising an action plan for a better workplace. This included practical examples of changes employers could adopt in their own workplace to promote better mental health at work.
The conference’s final session was a Q&A opportunity led by Mel Kinsella, Chair of CIPD Cumbria Branch. The audience took advantage of their chance to put questions to our panel of Nigel Crebbin, Anna Lovett, Terry Duffy, Dr Katie Graham, Michael Boaden and Caroline Robinson.
There were lots of positive comments given to the event organisers as delegates made their way out of the conference room and we greatly enjoyed our involvement in such a successful, lively and informative day. Thank you to everyone who came along. It was great to see you and we are already beginning to plan a similar conference for this time next year.
Burnetts' presentation slides on the legal aspects of Mental Health in the Workplace can be read here.
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