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Proactive Workplace Mental Health Summit

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

Resilience, insight, best practice, wellbeing


Charles Alberts

Head of Health Management

Setting up a new mental health team: Building an employee-led workplace mental health & wellbeing network
Challenging your organisation: Making mental health a priority for all
Brainstorm and share stories and ideas

Charles Alberts

Charles Alberts is a Principal Consultant at Aon Employee Benefits and leads the team of Health Management consultants who advise employers on workplace wellbeing, occupational health and absence management solutions. He chairs Aon’s own Mental Health Group, which is part of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy for its 6,000 colleagues in the UK, is a member of Aon’s Diversity Council and represents Aon on The Lord Mayor’s This is Me Steering Group.

In addition to his role at Aon, Charles is Board Trustee of the mental health charity Mind (Kingston branch) and the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM). He is also a co-opted Board Member of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA).

Lyssa Barber

Head of Internal Communications and Engagement

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

Lyssa Barber

Lyssa Barber is Head of Internal Communications and Engagement for UBS Wealth Management UK & Jersey. She also founded and currently chairs the UBS Mental Health Network, which has hubs in the UK, US, Poland and Channel Islands, providing employee-led resources and support to staff.

Lyssa is a passionate scuba diver, and lives in east London with her husband Paul and lots of cats.

Graham Carrington

Founder of the Peer2Peer Support Network

Building a peer-to-peer support network

Stephanie Fitzgerald

Senior Business Partner - Mental Health

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

Stephanie Fitzgerald

Dr Stephanie Fitzgerald is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, keynote speaker and published author. Her clinical specialisms are anxiety disorders and trauma, and she has worked as a Health and Wellbeing Consultant to many companies across multiple industries. She is the Senior Business Partner - Mental Health at Rolls-Royce where she is delivering the Global Mental Health strategy, working with a vibrant and diverse workforce, in a safety critical environment.

Stephanie believes health issues are safety issues and will often talk of health as safety, not health and safety. She specialises in delivering practical, evidence-based interventions, focusing on sustainable improvement. She is passionate about ensuring people are happy, healthy, safe and engaged in the workplace, and believes everyone can and should enjoy work.

Nicola Forristal

UK Group Chief People Officer
Havas Creative Group

Hearing the 'voice of the employee' in a commercial and creative environment: diversity, inclusion and wellbeing
Ask the panel: Brainstorm and share stories and ideas

Jason Gowlett

Director of HR Operations
Direct Line Group

Mental health policy transformation panel

Jason Gowlett

Jason Gowlett is Director HR Operations at Direct Line Group and is responsible for delivery of all HR processes, including recruitment, learning, payroll and HR Shared Services. In addition he leads HR Systems, HR suppliers and HR risk for the function.

Jason has been in role for 5 years and has led a self-service approach which has driven extensive efficiencies. These have been reinvested into a People Strategy focused on engagement, talent, development and a wellbeing agenda. In his role Jason has championed all these areas and was recently a judge at “This Can Happen”.

Abigail Hirshman

Head of Mental Health & Wellbeing

Afternoon chair

Abigail Hirshman

In her role as Deputy Area Director, Abigail works with a range of public and private sector organisations on improving productivity through increasing understanding of factors that impact individual and organisational wellbeing. She is currently working with the workplace policy team within Acas and is leading the strategic review into workplace mental health.

Before joining Acas, Abigail worked in Higher Education, initially as Manager of the Counselling and Mental Health Service, and then in a Research and Projects role. She has an MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling and an MSc in Psychology and is an experienced practitioner who has worked extensively with individuals and groups on a range of issues around psychological health and wellbeing.

Xenia Koumi

Public Health Specialist
City of London Corporation

Launching a new mental health initiative: working with key partners
Ask the panel: Brainstorm and share stories and ideas

Xenia Koumi

Xenia Koumi is a Public Health Specialist at the City of London Corporation – the governing body of the Square Mile – and leads the unique and award-winning Business Healthy programme, where she works with employers in the City to support them in improving their employees’ health and wellbeing across a wide range of aspects, including improving awareness of suicide prevention. Business Healthy was instrumental in running the Square Mile’s first mental health campaign, Release the Pressure, and Xenia has also been part of the team behind bringing the Dragon Café to the City.

Jennifer Leeder

Senior Associate
Birketts LLP

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

Sadie Lofthouse

Director of Culture and Performance

Challenging your organisation: Making mental health a priority for all
East Anglia focus panel: Mental health matters across the locality – Strategies for positive mental health throughout our region

Sadie Lofthouse

Sadie lives and works on the Suffolk coast and is Director of Culture and Performance at Adnams PLC. Adnams have been brewing in Southwold since 1872 and now employ around 600 people in brewing, distilling, retail and hospitality.

A person-centric approach to wellbeing is embedded across all areas of the Adnams business and is intrinsically linked to both the commercial aims and the employer brand story. Taking an holistic approach to health and wellbeing ensures all employees are supported to be as physically, mentally and emotionally strong as possible.

Sadie encourages employees at all levels and across all areas to engage in a meaningful way with local schools, colleges and universities and is passionate about the role business must play in helping to develop the future workforce. She is of the firm belief that volunteering adds significant value to individuals and business alike and is a Trustee of a regional Multi Academy Trust and works with the Licensed Trade Charity as a Visitor Assessor.

Kerri Malyon

Health & Wellbeing Specialist
Astra Zeneca

Challenging the culture of your organisation: Making mental health a priority for all

Kerri Malyon

Robert Manson

Head of Occupational Health and Wellbeing

Development of a mental health organisation model: Managing change and the journey ahead
Changing your organisation: Making mental health a priority for all

Robert Manson

RobertManson is currently Head of Occupational Health and Wellbeing at RWE Generation UK and provides a service to over 2,000 employees across the UK. The in house team of six provide Occupational Medicine and Occupational Health and Wellbeing to both the Generation and Renewables business.

Robert has presented at international conferences and written several articles on the management of mental health, case management and workplace wellbeing programmes. He has been recognised with the Safety and Health at Work - European Good Practice Award. He has a BSc in Occupational Health, an MSc in Health Ergonomics and a NEBOSH Diploma in Health, Safety and Environment. He is a volunteer for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and provides safety health and wellbeing advice for the group.

Jon Neal

Chief Executive
Suffolk Mind

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

Jon Neal

Jon Neal is Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind, the mental health charity. With an ambitious aim of making workplaces across the country the best environments for people to meet their ambitions – whatever they may be – the organisation promotes an innovative way of looking at preventing mental ill health.

We all have emotional needs that must be met in order to stay at the wellbeing end of the mental health continuum. By addressing barriers to meeting needs like control, achievement and privacy, we can create workplaces that outperform all others.

Jon started at Suffolk Mind four years ago, following a career in communications, marketing and public affairs. He lives in Suffolk with his family and is an occasional Parkrunner and oft-disappointed Tottenham fan.

Chris Pyburn

Public Health Manager
Public Health Team, Suffolk County Council

East Anglia focus panel: Mental health matters across the locality – Strategies for positive mental health throughout our region

David Sheepshanks CBE DL, Suffolk & London, Chair, Vistage and Chairman of FA Technical Advisory Board

Business and Life Coach

Mental Health Matters Across the Locality – Strategies for Positive Mental Health Throughout The Region (moderator)

David Sheepshanks CBE DL, Suffolk & London, Chair, Vistage and Chairman of FA Technical Advisory Board

Although best known for his career in football and charity, David’s background was in the food industry, successfully starting, building and selling two profitable companies. Experienced as both Chair and NED, David is collegiate yet challenging. He assembles teams with complementary skills and creates alignment and ownership through effective delegation in goal-setting and driving growth. He is recognised as a good communicator, networker and convener.

Today, David is a Business and Life Coach as a Vistage Group Chairman, successfully creating their first peer groups for Business Leaders in Suffolk.

Current business interests include consultancies with the Football Association (Chair of Technical Advisory Board and UEFA Licensing Committee), Argent Related (putting sport/activity/wellbeing and education at the centre of the redevelopment of Brent Cross South) and Regional Chairman for Coutts Bank in East Anglia.

He is a Trustee of Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and The Beacon Fellowship, a Patron of National Citizen Service (NCS) and, locally, President of Ipswich Citizens Advice Bureau and Patron of the Samaritans in East Suffolk.

Previously he was Chairman of Ipswich Town Football Club for 14 years, responsible for overhauling and modernising the business from 1995 onwards. During this time, he also chaired the Football League in the late 90s for two years and served the Boards of both the Football Association and the Football League for 12 years.

From 2008-2015, he was the founding Chairman of St George’s Park and led the creation, funding and construction of the National Football Centre, which opened in October 2012. Focusing on Coach Education, David has been integrally involved in developing a new personal leadership and high-performance culture for English football and a hub to engage wider interaction with other sports and business.

In charity, he has been a long-term advocate of Community Foundations, chairing Suffolk Community Foundation from 2005-2013 and UK Community Foundations from 2013-2018.

He was appointed CBE in January 2013 for services to football and local charity, granted an Honorary Doctorate by University of East Anglia in 2004 and created Deputy Lieutenant for Suffolk in 2005.

He is married to Mona, has two children - Sophie (32) and Tom (30) - and lives near Woodbridge in Suffolk.

Maria Shinn

Area Director
Acas East of England

East Anglia focus panel: Mental health matters across the locality – Strategies for positive mental health throughout our region

Maria has worked for Acas since 2002, having previously worked in the private sector in education and other positions as well as other government departments. She has a wealth of Acas experience including Helpline, conciliation, training and the management of teams as well as mediation.

She is currently working as the Senior Adviser for Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, delivering and designing training and business solutions for businesses of all sizes in matters relating to employment relations and law in the East of England and London. Her specialisms include: performance management, team interaction, discipline and grievance, change management and employee surveys.

As an experienced mediator in individual employment disputes, Maria has worked with a wide range of employment sectors including local education authorities, local government, the aviation industry and medical practices amongst others. Her additional qualifications in counselling complement this work, and help her to resolve disputes between groups.

Maria is ITOL qualified and also holds the CEREL qualification from the University of Strathclyde.

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