Major conference on mental health in the workplace to mark 10th anniversary of MINDFUL EMPLOYER

Posted on 24th February, 2014

Polar explorer and motivational speaker, Pen Hadow is to be a keynote speaker at a major conference on mental health in the workplace taking place in Exeter.

The conference marks the 10th Anniversary of the MINDFUL EMPLOYER initiative and takes place on Wednesday 15th October at Exeter Racecourse MINDFUL EMPLOYER provides businesses and organisations with easier access to information and local support. Run by Workways, a service of Devon Partnership NHS Trust, the initiative was launched in Exeter in 2004 as a local initiative and has since spread UK-wide attracting small, medium and large employers from private, public and the voluntary sector. Over 1,150 employers have signed the MINDFUL EMPLOYER Charter for Employers who are Positive About Mental Health and the initiative has featured in UK government reports and been launched in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. While living in Devon, Pen Hadow rose to international fame. In 2003 he become the first person to trek solo, without resupply by third parties, from Canada to the North Geographic Pole. Within months he went on to become the only Briton to have trekked, without resupply, to both the North and South Poles. Having had personal experience of depression, Pen also brings considerable knowledge of the business world and regularly speaks at hi-profile conferences and other events. Among other awards, he has Honorary Doctorate of Laws (University of Exeter) and Honorary Doctorate of Science (University of Plymouth). Other speakers include Dame Professor Carol Black, Expert Advisor on Health and Work at the Department of Health. She plays a major ambassadorial role, building and promoting the public and policy position on the positive relationship between work and health. Previously she was the first National Director for Health and Work (2006 – 2011), a role created to provide independent leadership to a cross-Government health, work and wellbeing agenda. Dr Steve Boorman, Chief Medical Officer at Capita and author of a report on the health and wellbeing of NHS staff and Liggy Webb, presenter and author on resilience, health and wellbeing will also be contributing. Workshops will offer practical advice on how employers can support staff experiencing stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions. Topics include stress and work, alcohol use, bullying and harassment, the impact of a suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder, dealing with discrimination claims, supporting managers and recovery from mental ill health. “The conference presents a great opportunity to celebrate the success of the MINDFUL EMPLOYER,” said Richard Frost, who leads the initiative. “It’s completely voluntary and aspirational approach has been key to helping employers identify and improve support for staff experiencing mental ill health.” Liz Davenport, Acting Chief Executive of Devon Partnership NHS Trust concludes: “I am extremely proud of our staff whose commitment and determination has been instrumental to the success of our MINDFUL EMPLOYER initiative. We are delighted to be able to host this 10th anniversary conference to share with employers the importance of supporting their staff’s mental and emotional wellbeing.” Further details about the conference and booking arrangements can be found by visiting or telephone 01392 677064.