Starting a conversation across the Midlands – Bridge the gap, start a chat

As part of Mental Health Productivity Pilot (MHPP) ‘Start a Chat’ campaign we’re bringing together high profile speakers and organisations across the Midlands to share knowledge, ideas and to help ensure that our region is a great place to live and work.

Talking might seem simple, but it’s hugely powerful – for individuals and for business.

As well as creating a safe and supportive environment for employees, research from Deloitte shows that simply encouraging employees to talk about mental health can make a real difference to: sickness absence rates, levels of presenteeism and mental wellbeing.

This event will tell you more about the Start a Chat campaign – and how you can move from conversation to action to help create a working environment where all of your employees can be healthy, happy and able to thrive at work.

– Learn from high profile speakers and industry experts about how the Midlands is leading the way when it comes to mental health

– Hear from employers and people with experience of mental health problems on the importance of workplace mental health support and the impact open conversations are having.

– Find out about a range of free tools that can help your organisation move from conversation to action and embed lasting change.

Together, we can help make the region an even better place to live and work.


11:30-11:35 Starting the Conversation –Welcome
Dr Paul Litchfield, Independent Chief Medical Adviser to ITV and Compass Group and Visiting Professor to Coventry University

11:35-11:45 Opening Address: Making the Case for Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing
Sir John Peace, Chair, Midlands Engine

11:50 -12:00 Experiences of Midlands employers: What the Research Tells Us
Dr Vicki Belt, Deputy Director, Engagement and Impact, Enterprise Research Centre, University of Warwick

12:00 -12:25 Employer Voices: Impact of Prioritising Mental Health and Wellbeing

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive, Mind, will lead a panel discussion with:
Geoffrey Etule, HR Director, Wye Valley NHS Trust
Natalie Harries, Senior HR Business Partner, National Express
Simon Beardsley, Chief Executive, Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce

12:25-12:35 How Conversations Are Making a Difference at Work
Discussion led by Errin Riley, MHPP Programme Manager, Mind, with members of MHPP’s lived experience advisory group:
Sinziana Irimia and Hameed Khan

12:35-12:40 Chair’s Feedback
Dr Paul Litchfield

12:40-12:55 Turning Talk Into Action –How to take the next steps…

Getting started: Free support from the Mental Health & Productivity Pilot 
Kate Wood, MHPP Project Manager, University of Derby

Thrive at Work: Free Workplace Wellbeing Accreditation Programme
Sharon Lindop, Thrive at Work Accreditation Manager with Melvin Wingfield, Director, A&M EDM Engineering

12:55 -13:10 Questions

13:10 Closing Thoughts and Next Steps
Dr Paul Litchfield

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