Thrive Law shines a spotlight on mental health in the workplace

Thrive Law, a Leeds-based specialist employment law firm which focuses on mental health in the workplace, is hosting the Thriving Minds conference to help empower businesses to tackle mental health in the workplace and provide resources to develop a thriving workforce. 

Thrive Law’s ethos is to support both employers and employees to ‘Thrive’ in the workplace. As the Founder, Managing Director and Solicitor at Thrive Law, Jodie’s experiences with poor mental health have fuelled her campaign to ensure that positive mental health and wellbeing are an integral part of every business’s agenda. With almost 75% of employees experiencing symptoms of poor mental health, this has never been more pertinent.

Mental ill health costs UK employers between £33 billion and £42 billion each year through sick absence and staff turnover, with over 50% of the cost coming from presenteeism. Statistics show that the costs to Government are between £24 billion and £278 billion in lost tax revenue, benefits and NHS costs. Unfortunately, 300,000 employees with long term mental health problems lose their job each year. It is this human impact that both Thrive Law and Leeds Mind are working actively to prevent.

Stigma remains deeply entrenched in many organisations as poor mental health is often perceived as a weakness. Findings report that 60% of board members and senior managers believe their organisation supports people with mental health issues. Despite this, the stark reality is that only 11% discussed a recent mental health problem with their line manager, and half of employees say they would not discuss mental health with their line manager.

Professor Dame Carol Black, DEB, FRCP who is the Senior policy advisor on work and health to the British Government states: “Employers have a duty of care to respond to their employees’ mental health needs in the same way they respond to physical conditions… it makes compelling business sense.”

Speaking about the event, Jodie commented: “I believe that change needs to begin with making our employees more aware of measures and support available which allow them to talk about their mental health problems openly without prejudice.”

Overwhelming research affirms that prioritising employee engagement and wellbeing enhances productivity, loyalty and profitability in the workplace. Deloitte’s findings as a part of the Thriving at Work Report revealed that the average return on investment of workplace mental health interventions was exceptional – for every £1 spent, the return was £4.20. These are motivating findings for businesses to invest in positive mental health and wellbeing in the workplace to tackle this growing issue.

Dealing with acute anxiety and PTSD throughout her life, Jodie understands the importance of how this can affect performance, productivity and how this could have been different had she have been offered the correct support. Her wide-ranging experience as an employer, business owner, an employee in a multitude of organisations as well as having advised both Respondents and Claimants in her capacity as a solicitor gives Jodie a broad and varied perspective on this complex and sensitive issue.

Jodie has been in partnership with Leeds MIND for a decade on a pro bono basis, supporting their job retention team to help individuals with mental health problems to remain in employment. Her commitment to this cause is exemplified in an incredible record of over 97% job retention. It is for this reason Jodie has chosen Leeds Mind to raise money for at Thriving Minds.

Jodie commented: “Throughout my career, especially in my capacity as a solicitor, I have witnessed the breakdown of working relationships and the consequential impact this has on both the wider team and the employees concerned, in respect of their mental health and wellbeing. I have been overwhelmed with how prevalent poor mental health in the workplace is, so I feel responsibility to help educate and raise awareness on this very imperative issue.”

There will be talks from key influencers such as The Yorkshire Post deputy business editor, Greg Wright and ex-England Sevens rugby captain and wellbeing advocate, Rob Vickerman, mental health experts, workshops and resources. Jodie’s vision is that The Thriving Minds conference will provide attendees with an array of perspectives, including insight from mindful employers and individuals sharing their lived experience of mental health issues.

Commenting on the Thriving Minds conference, Rob Vickerman said: “Mental health is quite rightly taking its place at the forefront of wellbeing, and it is a pleasure to be part of the Thriving Minds conference on World Mental Health Day. Wellbeing is far more than a perception of ‘being well’ and by opening up conversations, showing support and guidance to those who may need it and by days such as this we will achieve more together.”

The event, which will run from 9-5.30pm on 10th October 2018 is part of The Yorkshire Mafia’s ‘Leeds Business Week’ and is sponsored by Leeds-based creative start-up Research Retold. This is a key opportunity to network with likeminded businesspeople and influencers from across the region.

The question is, are you ready to learn how to invest in your workforce to increase positive mental health and in turn increase productivity and profitability? If so, click here to find out more and book your tickets TODAY.