Zainah Khan, Chakra’s managing director.
Zainah Khan, Chakra’s managing director.
Nick Hill

YEN Expo set to put spotlight on mental health in the workplace

A this year’s YEN Expo conference businesses will be able to learn how to combat stress and improve mental health in the workplace.

The business clinic, ‘Becoming Mentally Strong - Stress, Resilience and Relaxation’, will be delivered by Chakra Corporate Mental Strength to enhance people’s understanding of individual experiences of stress and how it manifests itself in our brains and bodies.

YEN Expo2017 takes place at Bradford College’s David Hockney campus on Monday, November 6th, with the Chakra lunchtime clinic going on from 12.15 to 1.30pm.

Run by Yorkshire Enterprise Network (YEN), the Expo is one of Yorkshire’s biggest business events, expected to attract more than 1,500 delegates, with £1bn worth of industry and services on show.

Leeds-based Chakra Corporate delivers Mental Strength training programmes designed to destigmatise mental health issues in the workplace and increase resilience to stress.

Zainah Khan, Chakra’s managing director, said: “Mental health issues affect everyone, and that doesn’t exclude the business community. This is the perfect time to get businesses thinking about how mentally healthy their workforces are and, if there are improvements to be made, we want to help.

“Mental ill health leads to underperformance and that costs businesses in absenteeism and presenteeism - which is when staff are mentally unwell but still coming to work, for a variety of reasons.

“In the UK, depression and anxiety currently equate to 90 million sick days per year. The cost of absenteeism is £8bn per year and the more frightening one, presenteeism, costs an eye-watering £18bn per year.

“So paying attention to mental health is an essential investment into human capital. A business’s most important asset is its people and employers will soon see the results of taking mental health seriously when staff begin to perform better.

“Aside from the benefits to the business though, employers also have a duty of care towards their employees and a core part of this is ensuring they have a mentally healthy workforce. We spend so much of our time at work and we deserve to feel at our best when we are there.

“YEN Expo attracts a diverse range of businesses and our session will provide useful knowledge to business people across a multitude of industries. We are making the most of this opportunity to get the word out and break the stigma.”

This marks the first time an event of this kind has been introduced to the YEN Expo schedule.

Sheraz Malik, YEN director, said: “Our mental health impacts every aspect of our daily life and it’s vital that all organisations understand that impact, which affects staff and management alike.

“From a business perspective there is a direct bearing on output and productivity and it’s important to have a positive attitude on mental health issues.

“We’re keen to introduce new and different elements to YEN Expo every year and one of our aims is to provide a platform to share key knowledge. Zainah has some extremely valuable insights on this issue which businesses can greatly benefit from.”

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