HR Network: Mental Health Event

Last month we were lucky enough to have an HR Network event held at The Office Group on a very important topic: mental health.

Mental health issues are not a rare condition, and in most cases they are preventable. Investing in workplace health can reduce absence, increase productivity, reduce staff turnover, and reduce recruitment cost. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear from local thought leaders on this topic, and those who have experienced mental health issues in the workplace. The morning had some very important takeaways, including making a policy review a priority and capturing employee experience to build upon an action plan, but there are also less corporate ways you can help.

The morning began with a talk from Operations Manager, Vanessa Henneker, from KX Recruit, a free recruitment service helping people from the Camden and Islington Councils find work. They encourage local engagement and run recruitment events and job fairs to support this aim and to show people what’s on offer to them.

Polly Kwok, Workplace Health Lead at Camden and Islington Councils informed us about how we need to be aware of mental health issues in the workplace, which was followed up by playing the post it note game! We had to guess the mental health issue we had, that was stuck on our heads with a post it note – the perfect way of acquainting ourselves with issues we should be aware of.

Sophia Klose, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Kings Place let us into her past as she told us about how she was signed off of work for stress, and how Kings Place dealt with it in a patient, understanding and sympathetic way. She stressed the fact that having a mental health policy at work is vital and that doing things to help yourself is very important, such as:


Rethink then told us about how they help those with mental health issues, and that the Red Cross are now working on bringing out a Mental Health First Aid (MHRA) course, an exciting advancement in this area.

Thank you to everyone who came to the event, we hope you found it insightful and helpful for your workplaces.

Additional Resources:

Mental Health at Work (Government document)

Thriving at Work, Stevenson-Farmer Review commissioned by Theresa May

London Healthy Workplace Charter

Camden Can (Council initiative)