Published on 17/04/19

Managing mental health in the workplace will be the focus of an expert briefing for employers in Birmingham

Managing mental health in the workplace will be the focus of an expert briefing for employers in Birmingham.

The seminar for HR professionals aims to promote better understanding and support for employees with mental health issues and will take place during Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from Monday, May 13.

Mental health problems are the leading cause of sickness absences in the UK with a staggering 70 million work days lost each year, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion, according to the Mental Health Foundation.

The briefing is being jointly hosted by the Birmingham office of international law firm Trowers & Hamlins and Birmingham-based recruitment specialists Katie Bard, part of the Angela Mortimer Group.

Mental health experts Dr Ben Sinclair, from Sinclair Health, and Fiona Sanderson, from Work Wellness, will offer advice and guidance on best practice in the workplace, and Partners Amardeep Gill and Rebecca McGuirk, from Trowers & Hamlins, will provide an insight into legal implications for employers.

Kam Vara, director at Katie Bard, said an increasing openness among employees around mental health means that there is a greater need for employers to understand and manage the issues.

She said: “As organisations, we are both very passionate about mental health and are coming together to host this seminar for HR professionals as they can be most influential within businesses in terms of implementing strategies but also in having influence over workplace culture.

“A lot of candidates at Katie Bard have experienced mental health issues at some point in their lives and in the last two years, we have seen them express this more and more openly, which has been a learning experience for us.

“It is great that there is now this open discussion and it shows our changing culture; however, more can be learned in how to support those individuals in the workplace.

“If we can have a better understanding of mental health and the right practices to implement, we will have a better and more productive workforce.”

Amardeep Gill, managing partner of the Birmingham office of Trowers & Hamlins, said: “Any organisation that values its people needs to have honest conversations on mental health management and the issues associated with mental health illness. As a progressive organisation, I’m delighted Trowers & Hamlins are involved in this event which I hope is of value to our clients and supports those honest conversations.”

The free-to-attend briefing will take place at the Colmore Row office of Trowers & Hamlins on Tuesday, May 14, from 8.30am to 10am.  To register, contact Kam Vara at Katie Bard k.vara@katiebard.com