24 September 2020 Editorial – UK Version

With the official arrival of autumn, whilst some are still enjoying warm Indian summer days, we’re also facing the reality that COVID-19 cases are on the rise across many parts of the world, and that this is likely to worsen as temperatures get colder and flu season is back upon us.

Nevertheless life and work must continue. Employers and business leaders have learned a lot over the past six months since the onset of the health pandemic about the importance of looking after the mental health and wellbeing of employees. But as we brace for the next wave of the pandemic and the unprecedented impacts it will continue to have on workers, there is an important opportunity to share what we’ve learned so far.

Which is why our global digital Make a Difference event series this autumn—bringing the voices of some of the world’s top leaders to address workplace culture, mental health and wellbeing—is more timely than ever. Our Global Director of Content, Claire Farrow offers a preview of our third annual MAD World Summit UK, to be held on 8 October. Inspiring speakers will include, John Amaechi OBE, Lloyds Banking Group’s Thriving at Work champion David Oldfield, Unilever’s Catalyst for Change Leena Nair and former England rugby captain Will Carling.

And we are honoured to welcome former U.S. Representative and founder of The Kennedy Forum, Patrick J. Kennedy as a keynote speaker for our 15 October US event, Make a Difference Summit in association with Mind Share Partners . Kennedy is one of the world’s most influential voices on mental health reform. In an exclusive event preview interview, Kennedy offers his thoughts on what COVID-19 can teach the business community about mental health.

Wellbeing leaders are being faced with a complexity of challenges as they continue to adapt support for workers through the health pandemic. Chris Pinner, founder of training provider Innerfit shares with us the three top challenges he sees leaders facing and practical tips to help leaders get through the next wave of the health and economic crises.

Gary Raucher, EVP ASICS EMEA suggests a solution for employers committed to supporting staff wellbeing, through the global sportswear company’s new ASICS Movement for Mind programme—offered in workplaces. Aimed at getting staff to be physically active, the science-based programme is already showing positive impacts on participants through its feasibility study.

Strong and effective leadership is essential in these challenging times we’re facing, as we know that poor leadership can adversely impact employee wellbeing. Investors in People’s, Paul Devoy outlines the four key leadership behaviours that can help improve wellbeing for the whole team.

Speaking of effective leaders, Mental Health First Aid England’s CEO Simon Blake (who will be speaking at MAD World Summit UK on 8 October) shares in an event preview interview the importance of business leaders staying committed to investing in staff mental wellbeing and not to disregard all we’ve learned over the past six months about the human, moral and economic cases for ensuring staff are supported.

And for employers who are focused on supporting the wellbeing of a global workforce, don’t miss out on our third and final digital autumn event to be held on 11 November, Make a Difference Summit Asia.

We hope you find this week’s issue enjoyable and valuable!

Well wishes,
Heather Kelly
Online Editor, Make a Difference News



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