Last Friday, I was invited to speak at a conference on Positive Mental Health at Work. This was one of the events to mark Mental Health Awareness Week in Nottingham.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t know the other speakers (Darran Trute and Sharon Brennan) or the delegates. I didn’t even know the organiser, Tracey Orton, lawyer and HR specialist, very well – but this is another demonstration of the power of connections. Tracey came along to the last Creating Focus Friendly Society meet up on the back of having heard me speak at a networking event we think at least three years ago.
It turned out that a wide variety of local organisations were represented there. Everyone was up for a deeper level of discussion about how to manage our mental health than I remember happening before. Something feels as if it’s changing in the way we talk about (and then deal with) the persistent issues of anxiety, depression, isolation and disconnect that can so often manifest in the workplace.
It seems to me that there is starting to be some welcome integration – to recognise and understand better the links between mental and physical health as well as to go beyond talking about work-life balance as if work and life are two completely separate things. The interesting thing about this event is that Tracey has positioned it very much as the beginning of something. I’m meeting her soon to have a chat about what that might be and whether it’s something that I can usefully be part of.
Watch this space!