From education to employment

Leading the way in workforce wellbeing

A local Further Education college is leading the way in employee wellbeing by hosting a conference dedicated to building resilience in the workplace. Entitled ‘Resilience and You’ the conference took place at the Colleges SPACE campus in Bangor on Thursday 25 January.

South Eastern Regional College (SERC), in partnership with Aware and the Royal College of Psychiatrists hosted the event to raise awareness of the importance of positive work environments and good mental health.

Key note speakers included Tom McEneaney, Head of Business Development at Aware, Claire Potter from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Frank Liddy and Patrick Anderson from Aware.

SERC principal and chief executive Ken Webb gave the opening address and welcomed delegates.

The Conference brought together experts and specialists from local mental health charities, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and staff from the six regional Further Education Colleges for a day of workshops, speeches and presentations focusing on promoting good mental health, wellbeing strategies and resilience.

The Conference opened with a talk on Resilience and during the afternoon, attendees got the opportunity to participate in a range of workshops themed ‘mindfulness’ and ‘mood matters in the workplace.’

Ken Webb SERC Principal and Chief Executive at SERC said “This is the first time SERC has hosted the conference and it’s an exciting milestone which recognises our commitment to looking after the welfare of all of our employees. A healthy workplace is fundamental to healthy and productive employees and imperative if we are to continue to provide a high standard of education.”

SERC Chief Human Resources Officer Paul Smyth said “Issues relating to mental health have been prominent in the media recently. This one-day conference aimed to ensure that we, as an FE sector, share best practice and understand how to help our employees to manage the increasing pressures of the modern working environment. The conference is one of the most important elements to ensuring that staff across the sector take steps to a happier and healthier workplace.”

SERC is committed to looking after the emotional and physical wellbeing of their staff and have proactively launched a range of health and wellbeing initiatives. For example, last year they signed the mental health charter. Eight mental health champions have also been trained in Mental Health First Aid across all campuses to promote the difficulties around mental health issues. The College also recently launched a new ‘Mind Yourself’ initiative to raise awareness and promote health and wellbeing in the workplace.

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