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Covid 19: Mental Health Resilience Clinic to Support those in High Pressure Leadership Roles

Time: 09:00 - 17:00 GMT 

Cost per attendee: £350 + VAT 

Platform: Zoom - An encrypted zoom platform with password access. Click here for further information and to test access 

Covid-19 has brought unprecedented pressure on UK workplace leaders. HR leaders in particular, have been under intense pressure for some time, managing workplace tensions following Brexit and the challenges highlighted during lockdown, including furlough challenges and BLM responses.

Unsurprisingly, many managers are burned out and worried for their own mental health. We have worked closely with senior HR professionals managing Covid in large organisations and recognise the importance of supporting team leaders' mental health during this challenging time and in the aftermath.

The need to adapt fast to almost daily changes and guidelines has added to an already pressured situation. With expectations to support colleagues; organise, manage and boost morale in remote teams; monitor staff for signs of substance abuse and domestic violence, anxiety and depression, and cope with furloughing staff and redundancies, many feel out of their depth. 

Lockdown 3.0 draws on already depleted resources, with your own well-being and mental health less resilient than in previous times.

Designed to meet needs identified in research, and with professional mental health input, we are delighted to offer this intensive clinic - we are limiting numbers to ensure it is interactive and learning-focussed

Attendees will, using a range of knowledge-sharing formats:

  • Recognise the unique pressures they are dealing with during Covid and work through a range of practical responses to ensure their own mental health is a priority
  • Learn the key features of compassionate leadership and how you can build a workplace of psychological safety in uncertain times
  • Share lived experiences through storytelling to pinpoint common experiences in WFH, home schooling, and domestic challenges
  • Join a range of professionally-led self-care clinics to examine the challenges leaders are currently facing
  • Learn and practice methods to ensure you are the best possible shape to support your workforce: including boundaries, managing your own stress and anxiety, maximising HR support and remote management
  • Examine ways in which leaders can build their own resilience in difficult times
  • Discover how to identify at-risk staff and formulate appropriate responses while protecting your own mental health
  • Learn new ways of communicating with remote staff: planning, managing, motivating and managing
  • Get to grips with the best ways to deal with heightened emotion when delivering bad news
  • Engage in and observe practical roleplay to put your new skills into practice, and get expert feedback to ensure you're confident to deal compassionately with angry, grieving, panicky and anxious colleagues

Numbers will be strictly limited to maximise participation, build a nurturing and supportive environment and ensure individual issues are addressed

Want to run this course in-house?

We can tailor any of our events to run in-house for your organisation, find out more here

Which functions will benefit from attending

  • This clinic is designed for leaders, managers and HR professionals who need to optimise and protect their own mental health whilst effectively leading in challenging times

Hear from

Schedule

Introduction to the day

Elizabeth Smith

Elizabeth Smith

Director of Research
Business Forums International Ltd. (BFI)

View Bio
Business Forums International Ltd. (BFI) logo

Elizabeth Smith

Director of Research , Business Forums International Ltd. (BFI)

Elizabeth is director of research and a founding co-director at Business Forums International. She is responsible for all programme content and writing, and researches current areas of interest for senior HR professionals in large organisations. BFI is the UK’s leading HR risk specialist conference and training provider, delivering key and timely information to over 3,000 delegates a year both through public and in-house training courses. Before founding BFI in 1996, Elizabeth specialised in researching corporate financial programmes in Asia and the Middle East, based in Dubai. She also worked in advertising and publishing in the Middle East and London. Elizabeth was educated in the West Indies, Saudi Arabia and Belgium before reading Modern Languages at Durham University. She is currently developing an online training course for line managers to raise awareness of menopause symptoms and ways that employers can work to make their workplaces more inclusive.

Where are we now? Collective reflection on personal and professional Covid experiences: Assessing the impact

Abigail Hirshman

Abigail Hirshman

Workplace Programme Director
Charlie Waller Trust

View Bio
Charlie Waller Trust logo

Abigail Hirshman

Workplace Programme Director , Charlie Waller Trust

Abigail joined Charlie Waller in 2020 from Acas, the independent national advisory body for employers and employees, where she was Head of Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing. She has worked in the field of Mental Health and Wellbeing for more than 25 years, has an MA in Psychotherapy, an MSc in Psychology, and extensive research experience in occupational psychology. She joined Acas in 2015 as Senior Adviser on Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing and was appointed to lead this area in 2017. Her work included leading on strategic wellbeing projects with executive boards, advising government on key policy issues and delivering keynote presentations and thought leadership on systemic issues relating to mental health and wellbeing at work. Until recently she sat as the workplace expert for the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on mental wellbeing and is an active member of several mental health at work advisory groups.

Drawing on lived experience since March 2020, delegates will examine and brainstorm the different challenges that HR professionals have faced and managed in order to highlight, reflect on and work through a response to these extraordinary times. Discussion will include, but not be limited to:

  • Covid-19 distress and working practice adjustment
  • Reacting to legal changes in real time
  • Colleague substance abuse, domestic violence, bereavement, financial and domestic pressures, extra caring responsibilities, shielding, home schooling, anxiety, depression, boredom, managing uncertainty
  • Workplace tensions: Brexit, furlough vs non-furlough, BLM responses, redundancy
  • Hybrid WFH: understanding the tensions this produces

Comfort break

Story sharing: Remote working challenges

Stories and experiences are a powerful way of connecting and sharing experiences – Covid and lockdown are indeed unprecedented, and these brief snapshots will give delegates a chance to share common experiences of the past year. Registered delegates will receive more information prior to the event to ensure they share material that is appropriate, comfortable and relevant.

What's compassion got to do with it?

Penny Aspinall

Penny Aspinall

Consultant Mental Health Trainer, Workplace
Charlie Waller Trust

View Bio
Charlie Waller Trust logo

Penny Aspinall

Consultant Mental Health Trainer, Workplace , Charlie Waller Trust

Penelope has been working freelance with Charlie Waller as consultant trainer for the Workplace programme and a trainer on the Universities and Colleges programme since August 2018. She has more than 25 years’ experience as a counsellor and trainer, starting with Relate in 1992. She became a sessional counsellor at the University of Huddersfield in 1995 and then moved to a full-time counselling post at the University of Leeds in 2003, where she became Senior Counsellor in 2006. Between 1995 and 2003, Penelope also worked in private practice and as a counsellor and consultant in two local Industries, offering one-to-one support, staff training and policy development. Her master’s research ‘Corporate Caring: Is counselling good for business?’ examined the impact of counselling on productivity at Zeneca, Huddersfield works. While at the University of Leeds, Penelope developed and managed an extensive group work and psychoeducational training programme for students, as well as delivering staff training on mental health awareness. She worked at the University of Bradford from 2014 – 18, joining as Head of Counselling and then taking on the Disability Service as an additional area of responsibility in 2016, becoming Head of Disability, Counselling and Mental Health. Penny has also worked in NHS settings as a counsellor in GP surgeries and as a staff counsellor, as well as being a practitioner and clinical lead with Take Time, a counselling and psychotherapy service for junior doctors in Yorkshire and Humber NHS trusts.

  • The value of practising self-compassion and how it can help us manage difficult emotions such as stress, anxiety, fear, anger and sadness.
  • How giving to others – positive feedback, compliments, showing appreciation or gratitude – enhances our own mental health and wellbeing
  • The role compassionate leadership plays in supporting good staff mental health
  • The importance of psychological safety in the workplace; what it is, why we need it and how we can achieve it for all of us, especially during these uncertain times.

Comfort break

Story sharing: Home schooling and domestic issues

Who's supporting you? Self-care clinics

Attendees will choose to attend one of the four clinics. Working with mental health professionals and experts, delegates will workshop strategies to identify and manage their support needs.

Clinic A: Who supports HR in your organisation?: Strategies and suggestions to maximise professional support

Sarah Duggan MSc Dip.Hyp

Sarah Duggan MSc Dip.Hyp

Mental Health and Wellbeing Workplace Trainer
Charlie Waller Trust

View Bio
Charlie Waller Trust logo

Sarah Duggan MSc Dip.Hyp

Mental Health and Wellbeing Workplace Trainer , Charlie Waller Trust

Sarah joined Charlie Waller in 2021 as a freelance Mental Health and Wellbeing Workplace Trainer. Her experience as an Organisational Psychologist has covered sectors including Financial Services (Prudential, Fidessa), Retail (Specsavers) and Aviation (British Airways) and most recently the NHS, supporting organisations with their Talent Management strategies, encompassing the attraction, retention and development of employee potential and performance. Most recently she has been helping organisations connect their Health and Wellbeing Strategies to the attraction and retention of talent. Combining her skills and interest in positive, business and counselling Psychology, Sarah seeks to help organisations address the root cause of people-related issues by helping leaders, employees and organisations foster a culture built on compassionate and inclusive leadership. In turning, helping to generate new insights, behaviours and self-awareness through the development of positive interpersonal and working relationships.

Clinic B: ‘Give yourself a break’: Addressing presenteeism and leavism in yourself and others

Penny Aspinall

Penny Aspinall

Consultant Mental Health Trainer, Workplace
Charlie Waller Trust

View Bio
Charlie Waller Trust logo

Penny Aspinall

Consultant Mental Health Trainer, Workplace , Charlie Waller Trust

Penelope has been working freelance with Charlie Waller as consultant trainer for the Workplace programme and a trainer on the Universities and Colleges programme since August 2018. She has more than 25 years’ experience as a counsellor and trainer, starting with Relate in 1992. She became a sessional counsellor at the University of Huddersfield in 1995 and then moved to a full-time counselling post at the University of Leeds in 2003, where she became Senior Counsellor in 2006. Between 1995 and 2003, Penelope also worked in private practice and as a counsellor and consultant in two local Industries, offering one-to-one support, staff training and policy development. Her master’s research ‘Corporate Caring: Is counselling good for business?’ examined the impact of counselling on productivity at Zeneca, Huddersfield works. While at the University of Leeds, Penelope developed and managed an extensive group work and psychoeducational training programme for students, as well as delivering staff training on mental health awareness. She worked at the University of Bradford from 2014 – 18, joining as Head of Counselling and then taking on the Disability Service as an additional area of responsibility in 2016, becoming Head of Disability, Counselling and Mental Health. Penny has also worked in NHS settings as a counsellor in GP surgeries and as a staff counsellor, as well as being a practitioner and clinical lead with Take Time, a counselling and psychotherapy service for junior doctors in Yorkshire and Humber NHS trusts.

Clinic C: Boundaries and self care techniques: Sleep, exercise, anxiety, alcohol, behaviour, routine

Gemma Fieldsend

Gemma Fieldsend

Schools and Families and Workplace Trainer
Charlie Waller Trust

View Bio
Charlie Waller Trust logo

Gemma Fieldsend

Schools and Families and Workplace Trainer , Charlie Waller Trust

Gemma has over 20 years’ experience working in the field of mental health. She worked at the University of Huddersfield for 5½ years as a Mental Health Advisor supporting students with mental health difficulties and set up a number of peer support groups including an Eating Disorder Support Group. Gemma continues to deliver training at the University including the MHFA Adult course, Eating Disorder Awareness training and bespoke training sessions, including workplace sessions. Prior to working in education she worked in the NHS within specialist eating disorder services as a Clinical Team Manager. She is an associate clinical trainer for Beat, the National Eating Disorder Charity. Gemma is involved in both our Schools and Families Programme and our Workplace Programme. In schools, she delivers training for staff, pupils, parents and carers on topics including: Mental health and awareness Emotional wellbeing Eating disorders Self-harm Whole School Approach to Mental Health In the workplace, she delivers a range of sessions including: Staff wellbeing Line managers’ training Mental health awareness training. Gemma is an instructor in Mental Health First Aid (Adult and Lite).

Clinic feedback and sharing

Elizabeth Smith

Elizabeth Smith

Director of Research
Business Forums International Ltd. (BFI)

View Bio
Business Forums International Ltd. (BFI) logo

Elizabeth Smith

Director of Research , Business Forums International Ltd. (BFI)

Elizabeth is director of research and a founding co-director at Business Forums International. She is responsible for all programme content and writing, and researches current areas of interest for senior HR professionals in large organisations. BFI is the UK’s leading HR risk specialist conference and training provider, delivering key and timely information to over 3,000 delegates a year both through public and in-house training courses. Before founding BFI in 1996, Elizabeth specialised in researching corporate financial programmes in Asia and the Middle East, based in Dubai. She also worked in advertising and publishing in the Middle East and London. Elizabeth was educated in the West Indies, Saudi Arabia and Belgium before reading Modern Languages at Durham University. She is currently developing an online training course for line managers to raise awareness of menopause symptoms and ways that employers can work to make their workplaces more inclusive.

Delegates will hear the key issues and strategies discussed in other clinics.

Lunch

Participants are encouraged to use their lunch break to put into practice a self-care strategy instead of straight back into checking emails! Today, we want you to make your mental health a priority and all delegates will be encouraged to go for a walk during the break. We will encourage you to upload a picture from your walk and hear what was arresting/touching/interesting about what you saw. 

Taking time out from work and doing something completely different refreshes your brain and body and helps you focus better when you return.

Eat something tasty and nourishing with the phone off, away from potential stressors.

Reflecting on 'self-care'

Working in small groups, delegates will reflect on their lunchtime walk and brainstorm ideas to take forward for themselves and their team.

Story sharing: Supporting colleagues and staff in challenging times

Being a resilient leader: Moving from surviving to thriving

Abigail Hirshman

Abigail Hirshman

Workplace Programme Director
Charlie Waller Trust

View Bio
Charlie Waller Trust logo

Abigail Hirshman

Workplace Programme Director , Charlie Waller Trust

Abigail joined Charlie Waller in 2020 from Acas, the independent national advisory body for employers and employees, where she was Head of Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing. She has worked in the field of Mental Health and Wellbeing for more than 25 years, has an MA in Psychotherapy, an MSc in Psychology, and extensive research experience in occupational psychology. She joined Acas in 2015 as Senior Adviser on Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing and was appointed to lead this area in 2017. Her work included leading on strategic wellbeing projects with executive boards, advising government on key policy issues and delivering keynote presentations and thought leadership on systemic issues relating to mental health and wellbeing at work. Until recently she sat as the workplace expert for the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on mental wellbeing and is an active member of several mental health at work advisory groups.

  • A new look at resilience
  • What enables people to come through difficult times with resilience rather than endurance?
    • Resilience in leaders
    • Building and sustaining resilience
  • Accessing and building online support networks

Story sharing: Communicating at work – sharing the good, bad and ugly

Comfort break

Streamed workshops: Techniques and action plans for leaders

Our ongoing research dialogue with HR professionals has highlighted specific challenges and issues that are currently having an impact on the profession, exacerbated by the third lockdown and attendant HR implications. Delegates may choose one workshop to attend – drawing on lived experience and the trainers’ expertise, each workshop will examine potential solutions, talking points, techniques and action plans around the following key areas:

Workshop one: Supporting staff at risk: harnessing connectivity and peer support

Gemma Fieldsend

Gemma Fieldsend

Schools and Families and Workplace Trainer
Charlie Waller Trust

View Bio
Charlie Waller Trust logo

Gemma Fieldsend

Schools and Families and Workplace Trainer , Charlie Waller Trust

Gemma has over 20 years’ experience working in the field of mental health. She worked at the University of Huddersfield for 5½ years as a Mental Health Advisor supporting students with mental health difficulties and set up a number of peer support groups including an Eating Disorder Support Group. Gemma continues to deliver training at the University including the MHFA Adult course, Eating Disorder Awareness training and bespoke training sessions, including workplace sessions. Prior to working in education she worked in the NHS within specialist eating disorder services as a Clinical Team Manager. She is an associate clinical trainer for Beat, the National Eating Disorder Charity. Gemma is involved in both our Schools and Families Programme and our Workplace Programme. In schools, she delivers training for staff, pupils, parents and carers on topics including: Mental health and awareness Emotional wellbeing Eating disorders Self-harm Whole School Approach to Mental Health In the workplace, she delivers a range of sessions including: Staff wellbeing Line managers’ training Mental health awareness training. Gemma is an instructor in Mental Health First Aid (Adult and Lite).

Research has shown that leaders lack the skills to meet specific staff challenges thrown up by Covid. This workshop will give you the tools to tackle such issues as monitoring and managing staff welfare, without compromising your own.

Workshop two: Negotiating the landmines of remote working: strategies for effective leadership

Tracey Wright

Tracey Wright

Mental Health Trainer
Charlie Waller Trust

View Bio
Charlie Waller Trust logo

Tracey Wright

Mental Health Trainer , Charlie Waller Trust

Tracy has over 20 years’ experience in the field of Mental Health. She is an Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist and holds an MSc in Occupational Psychology. Tracy has a special interest and extensive experience in promoting positive mental health in the workplace. She has specific experience in developing mental health cultures at board and Executive level as well as designing and

Adapting effective communication for remote working: tips for planning, managing, motivating and monitoring

Workshop three: Delivering bad news/dealing with difficult emotions/damage control

Sarah Duggan MSc Dip.Hyp

Sarah Duggan MSc Dip.Hyp

Mental Health and Wellbeing Workplace Trainer
Charlie Waller Trust

View Bio
Charlie Waller Trust logo

Sarah Duggan MSc Dip.Hyp

Mental Health and Wellbeing Workplace Trainer , Charlie Waller Trust

Sarah joined Charlie Waller in 2021 as a freelance Mental Health and Wellbeing Workplace Trainer. Her experience as an Organisational Psychologist has covered sectors including Financial Services (Prudential, Fidessa), Retail (Specsavers) and Aviation (British Airways) and most recently the NHS, supporting organisations with their Talent Management strategies, encompassing the attraction, retention and development of employee potential and performance. Most recently she has been helping organisations connect their Health and Wellbeing Strategies to the attraction and retention of talent. Combining her skills and interest in positive, business and counselling Psychology, Sarah seeks to help organisations address the root cause of people-related issues by helping leaders, employees and organisations foster a culture built on compassionate and inclusive leadership. In turning, helping to generate new insights, behaviours and self-awareness through the development of positive interpersonal and working relationships.

Comfort break

Putting it all into practice: Case studies and roleplay

Working in small groups with expert input and support, delegates will roleplay to learn effective strategies to handle stressful situations remotely. This will also include role play to work through a series of situations, putting theory into practice in a supportive environment and hear feedback and next steps from the experts.

Delegates will learn key skills:

  • Staying present, detachment, removing the personal
  • Protecting your own wellbeing during difficult conversations
  • Listening skills for leaders
  • Allowing staff to be heard: grief, anger, panic
  • Protecting your own wellbeing during difficult conversations
  • Building a comprehensive and workable support network

Networking and informal debate

The Zoom call will remain open for a further 30 minutes for delegates to exchange thoughts and feedback. Grab a cup of tea and join in a chance to network with peers facing the same challenges as you are - a great way to consolidate contacts made and know you are not alone!

End of workshop

Contact us to book or discuss our events & services

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Email icon info@bfi.co.uk

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