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Acas conference: Mental health and the workplace

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Please contact Acas on 0300 123 1150 for information on future events


Delegates will gain knowledge from a range of experts in the field of managing mental health in the workplace. Delegates will hear about the latest initiatives from the West Midlands Mental Health Commission and its workplace health programme initiatives. Practical tools and guidance will be provided around early intervention, the latest research in effective absence management for mental ill health and legal considerations in this area. We will also hear an employer perspective on how they promote health and wellbeing in their organisation.

Business need

Poor mental health in the workplace has real-world business impacts that directly affect productivity, employee attendance and customer service. Mental ill health at work is thought to cost UK employers £25 billion each year – on average £1,035 per employee. However improving prevention and early identifications of mental illness could save 30% of costs per year (£8 billion). Whilst many of the reasons behind poor mental health will not be work-related, it’s clear that organisations need to be aware of how to address these issues, support their staff and create a culture which enables staff to remain productive and able to carry out their roles effectively.

Crucially, good work is good for our mental health and is one of the key protective factors against mental ill health. According to the Mental Health Foundation there are also strong economic drivers for encouraging and supporting those with a mental health problem to be in work as it is estimated that this correlates with 12.1% of the UK’s GDP (£226 billion of value).

The latest absence data indicates stress, depression and anxiety are the cause of more working days lost than any other work-related illness. For this reason it is essential that managers, HR professionals and business owners have an awareness of the signs and symptoms of mental ill health, how to effectively manage mental health related absence and supportive mechanisms that facilitate a return to productivity ad employee engagement.

Suitable For

Delegates from all sectors of industry including: HR managers, supervisors, directors and anyone that has staff responsibility or is responsible for company/organisational strategy.


The conference will be opened by the Area Director for Acas West Midlands; Malcolm Boswell and will include the following sessions from guest speakers:

An update from Superintendent Sean Russell (Director of Implementation for West Midlands Mental Health Commission).

Spotting the signs - early intervention; Abigail Hirshman (Acas Senior Adviser).

Effective Absence Management; Dr Jo Yarker (Associate Professor in Occupational and Business Psychology, Kingston Business School).

Supporting employees with mental ill health; Deutsche Bank Birmingham - Paul Anderson (Global Markets and Co-Sponsor of dbEnable for UK and Ireland) and Wendy Tennant (Wealth Management and Mental Wellbeing Lead).

Turning the idea of wellbeing into action; Les Wright (Assistant Director of HR, Workplace Wellbeing, University of Birmingham).

The Legal Framework; Irwin Mitchell Solicitors

Venue Colmore Gate   Map (opens in new window)   Date 18/01/2018    Time 09:30 - 15:30   
Price £130.00 per person    Please note our training events are VAT exempt