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FSB supports Mental Health At Work Conference in East Sussex

This Autumn over one hundred delegates from 76 local businesses and organisations and 20 marketplace stallholders (including FSB) were welcomed to the first Mental Health at Work Conference at the Welcome Building Conference centre, Devonshire Park, Eastbourne.

The statistics around mental health are staggering – 6 in 10 employees will experience poor mental health where work is a contributing factor, at some point in their career. According to the Mental Health Foundation, mental health problems accounted for 15.4 million sick leave days in 2017/18 - the cost to employers is therefore vast. Attendees were provided with knowledge and tools to become better equipped to recognise and support colleagues who are experiencing mental health problems, and also how to support people at work to thrive. 

An array of expert speakers filled the programme (pictured); including Karen Hoskins (Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust) who explained why our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Faye McGuinness (Mind) discussed why employers should be addressing mental health in the workplace, and that it is much more than just a ‘nice to have’ policy. Karen Shaw (Time to Change) and Mark Winterflood (Hastings Direct) detailed the benefits of the Time to Change pledge and how to implement it in organisations - to boost staff wellbeing.

Attendees also got to understand mental health further with two moving accounts from business owners, Jo Brazier and Phil Wilson, who openly shared their own experiences of mental health. The day ended with workshops delivered by MIND, Brighton and Hove, focusing on how to start conversations and support people at work. The day was a fantastic success, born out from the feedback from delegates. FSB Development Manager, Martin Searle, who handled the expert panel Q and A said: “the accounts of the business owners were particularly moving showing tremendous resourcefulness in managing their mental health. Their openness was roundly applauded. Mental Health is everyone’s issue from self-care and finding help, to supporting work colleagues and family members. FSB are proud to support this event. Good mental health and wellbeing is good for business and our policies, advice and services reflect that.”