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Due to the coronavirus situation we are postponing the summit until March 2021. We plan a series of online events before then. Refunds and more info →

Proactive Workplace Mental Health Summit

Online events and a conference at The Atrium, Wherstead Park, Ipswich IP9 2BJ

Resilience, insight, best practice, wellbeing


Registration and coffee


Opening comments from chair


Opening address

Adopting new ways of looking at mental health in the workplace: The Emotional Needs and Resources Model

Jon Neal, Chief Executive, Suffolk Mind


Prevention is better than cure, but how do you prevent mental ill health from occurring? And what does a person’s mental health have to do with the workplace anyway?

  • We are all born with a set of physical and emotional needs. Find out how these 12 key needs can be better supported in the workplace to avoid stress and mental ill health
  • Explore our needs for: Security, Control, Attention, Status and Respect, Community, Privacy, Emotional Connection, Achievement, Meaning and Purpose, Sleep, Food & Drink, and Movement
  • Discover how a leading local employer has embraced the approach and seen the reward
  • Guest interview: What are the benefits, barriers and longer term goals?

Guest keynote

Proactive mental health and wellbeing trends: Making better workforce decisions and interventions – where to next in 2020?

Lyssa Barber, Head of Internal Communications and Engagement, UBS


Putting your employees’ mental health at the centre of your business can transform your culture and help you become a truly empowered company.

  • Mental health is undergoing a seismic shift. Discover more about the explosive growth in supporting mental health and preventing psychological harm.
  • What is the cost of poor mental health and stress to employers?
  • ROI to employers from timely mental health interventions in the workplace
  • What can we learn from best practice examples?
  • Mental health risk analysis

Mental health awareness session

Are you missing the signs of mental health issues in your workforce? Complexities, behaviours and how they present workplace problems

Dr Stephanie Fitzgerald, Senior Business Partner - Mental Health, Rolls-Royce


With the rapidly growing focus on mental health at work comes a cautionary tale. While we have seen a huge rise in awareness and conversations are being encouraged, people are struggling to support and maintain boundaries around mental health in the workplace. How do you navigate serious mental health issues and offer individual, flexible support?

  • Why are common mental health disorders often undiagnosed – particularly in the workplace?
  • Mental health problems vs major psychiatric disorders – spotting the difference
  • Common workplace behaviours which can signpost distress and a need for support
  • The dangers of ‘have-a-go heroes’

Morning break


Mental health law clinic

Discover the key dos and don’ts: Mental Health Act, Equality Act and tribunals – legal update

Jennifer Leeder, Senior Associate, Birketts PLC


A mental health condition is considered a disability if it has a long-term effect on your normal day-to-day activity under the Equality Act 2010.

  • Which forms of mental ill health amount to a disability?
  • Disability discrimination under the Equality Act, Disability Discrimination Act, Mental Health Act review
  • Making reasonable adjustments and supporting employees to return to work
  • Long term work absence related to mental health
  • Mental health and disciplinary processes

Development of a mental health organisational model

The journey ahead

Robert Manson, Head of Occupational Health and Wellbeing, RWE


  • The action plan template: What were our problems, issues and risk in the organisation?
  • What resources are needed now, and in the future?
  • Stakeholder feedback: Engagement strategies, managers and leaders
  • Monitoring outcomes: Assessing, planning and implementing evaluations
  • The toolkit for mental health in the workplace: Launch, feedback and different multimedia channels

Panel discussion

Challenging your organisation: Making mental health a priority for all

Kerri Malyon, Health & Wellbeing Specialist, Astra Zeneca
Robert Manson, Head of Occupational Health and Wellbeing, RWE
Charles Alberts, Head of Health Management, Aon
Sadie Lofthouse, Director of Culture and Performance, Adnams


Networking lunch


Case study

Launching a new mental health initiative: working with key partners

Xenia Koumi, Public Health Specialist, City of London Corporation


  • The story so far: Workstation Wellbeing Clinic
  • Identifying mental health needs across different sectors and people in the Square Mile
  • Gaining the right support and setting up partnerships
  • The launch and work of the Dragon Café in the City

Case study

Hearing the 'voice of the employee' in a commercial and creative environment: diversity, inclusion and wellbeing

Nicola Forristal, UK Group Chief People Officer, Havas Creative Group


  • Identifying need and gaining a 360˚ view of your workforce
  • Developing a series of inclusive wellness support spaces and initiatives: the wellness lounge, technology and meditation
  • Supporting different groups from LBGT to neurodiversity inclusion

Case study

Setting up a new mental health team: Building an employee-led workplace mental health & wellbeing network

Charles Alberts, Head of Health Management, Aon


An interactive session focussing on your challenges and goals using lessons learnt from a practitioner who successfully made the change – and overcame key barriers along the way.

  • Managing board commitment and continuous employee buy-in
  • Where did we start? - set up – establishing aims
  • Engaging people with the findings – creating a supporting environment
  • Working with external organisations and companies

Ask the panel

Brainstorm and share stories and ideas

Xenia Koumi, Public Health Specialist, City of London Corporation
Nicola Forristal, UK Group Chief People Officer, Havas Creative Group
Charles Alberts, Head of Health Management, Aon


Afternoon tea


East Anglia focus panel

Mental health matters across the locality – Strategies for positive mental health throughout the region

David Sheepshanks CBE DL, Suffolk & London, Chair, Vistage and Chairman of FA Technical Advisory Board (moderator)
Doug Field, Chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise and Joint CEO of East of England Co-op
Sadie Lofthouse, Director of Culture & Performance, Adnams
Maria Shinn, Area Director, Acas East of England
Chris Pyburn, Public Health Manager, Public Health Team, Suffolk County Council


Given diverse working environments, industries and types of organisation there is no one-size fits all mental health policy. There are, however, some key sectors which need special focus and support in East Anglia, from rural farming workers to industrial and transportation.

  • Creating an inclusive working environment, and why this is important for isolated workforce
  • Men’s mental health: Making a start and using positive mental health champions to provide support in a crisis and promote positive mental health
  • Great local initiatives: Taking inspiration from local mental health initiatives how they did it
  • Scalable models on a tight budget
  • Communication and extending the awareness and reducing stigma within traditional working communities

Case study

Building a peer-to-peer support network

Graham Carrington, Founder of the Peer2Peer Support Network, BT PLC


  • The start of the BT network: Identifying needs and gathering resources
  • Who can benefit from peer support?
  • Training and signposting requirements
  • Getting the message across
  • Overcoming barriers to adoption and support

Mental health policy transformation panel

How mental health is empowering the role, reach and influence of HR

Jason Gowlett, Director of HR Operations, Direct Line Group


Mental health programmes are changing the role, influence and structure of traditional HR departments – it’s a revolution which is gathering speed.

This panel will look at a company’s employee-related data to solve specific business problems in areas such as talent management, sales productivity, fraud and customer satisfaction. You will walk away with dozens of ideas of how to make better business decisions:

  • Is my organisation structured to deliver on new human capital challenges: What needs to change?
  • Visualise the perfect organisation with the right structure, roles and capabilities to successfully deliver your business strategy
  • How to avoid being ‘stuck in neutral’: Making progress which is vital to the growth of business
  • Build an enhanced decision-making analytics organisation to deliver and report where better information is needed

Summing up

Key messages and leadership engagement across the day



  • What have we learned today?
  • What one thing will you implement tomorrow?

All sessions subject to change.

Download our Wellbeing at Work white paper

An introduction to workplace wellbeing for employers and HR professionals. Find out about the issues and research, and get some ideas to improve wellbeing in your workplace.

Download the white paper (PDF)

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Date and time

Mon 30 March 2020


University of Suffolk
Waterfront Building
19 Neptune Quay