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Supporting mental health in the HE workforce

This is UCEA’s annual conference which focusses on health and safety and wellbeing issues.
It will bring together sector colleagues who have a role in ‘championing’ and implementing workforce health and safety and wellbeing initiatives within HE institutions. 
This conference will explore how HEIs can take a strategic approach to workforce mental health and examine a range of approaches that HEIs can take to help them support mental wellbeing in the workplace. Speakers will share their own organisation’s approach to some of the issues in focus. Delegates will discuss the implications for their own institutions and have opportunities to network with others addressing similar issues.
The conference will be of interest to the following colleagues in HEIs:
  • Senior team members responsible for staff mental health wellbeing strategies.
  • Senior HR professionals.
  • Organisational development professionals.
  • Occupational health physicians and practitioners.
  • Health and safety professionals.
  • Other colleagues responsible for supporting staff health and wellbeing in higher education institutions
The following speakers are confirmed: 
  • Faye McGuiness, Head of Workplace Wellbeing Programmes (Strategy and Development) at Mind and Samantha Morgan, Director of People, Bridgend College will give a perspective on the current landscape (human and financial costs), reflect on the implications of Thriving at Work: The Stephenson Farmer Review, explore issues around the voluntary reporting framework, outline Mind’s workplace wellbeing index, and give examples of approaches taken in other sectors that may be of interest to HE employers. 
  • Kate Masri, Head of Statutory Sick Pay and Employer Information at the Joint DWP/DHSC Work and Health Unit will give an update on the remit of the Work and Health Unit, which is leading on the implementation of the 40 recommendations of the Stephenson Farmer report, and progress made to date. She will give examples of what public sector organisations are doing and likely future policy level expectations of employers. She will also give an insight into the DWP’s plans to produce a simpler summary of the key recommendations.
  • Anwen Bottois, Associate Director, People Strategy from the University of Salford will give a short case study presentation on a pilot project in the HR Team at Salford, designed to explore how a trusting working environment and more workplace autonomy supports overall wellbeing, including mental health.
  • Nicola Carter, Head of HR Advice at UCEA, together with Anwen Bottois will lead a discussion around the voluntary framework on disability and mental health reporting, the implications for the role of employers in the life of colleagues, and where this might lead in terms of the workforce’s expectations of employers.
  • Dr Peter Bonfield, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Westminster will give an insight into the University’s experiences of supporting university wide mental health and will also cover the work of the London Higher Health and Wellbeing Network which he founded in autumn last year. The Network is a collaboration of some 40 Universities in London focussed on taking concerted practical action to improve the wellbeing and health of colleagues and students.
  • Professor Sue Powell from Healthy Universities will discuss emerging issues that are relevant to employee mental health in the HE workplace, signposting practical advice, case study examples and toolkits that will be helpful to teams in HEIs who are keen to support the mental health of their workforce.
The conference will run between 10.00 am and 3.30 pm (registration from 9.30am) and a timed programme can be found below.


Prices and booking processes:

Delegates from UCEA member HEIs

£340 per place

If you work at a UCEA member institution you can book via the online booking form.

Delegates from other HEIs and HE sector agencies

£440 per place

If you work for an HEI not in UCEA membership or another HE sector agency please email for more details.