Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. The public sector has some of the highest numbers of work related mental health concerns. Therefore, it is essential to have a strategy in place to support employees.

Mental health problems are the leading cause of sickness absence with 70 million work days lost each year in the UK, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year. Our Mental Health for Public Sector Leaders helps you to manage wellbeing proactively and minimise the impact of mental ill health on work and your teams.

By attending this course, you will acquire the knowledge, skills and tools to implement a better wellbeing strategy within your organisation.

About the Chair: Petra Velzeboer
Petra Velzeboer was born into the infamous Children of God cult where she was raised with the pressure of saving the world, with no formal education to speak of or resources on how to make it in the outside world. At 22 she moved to the UK. At 25 she started took time to figure out a plan to become happier and more fulfilled in her life setting herself a deadline of one year to figure it out. She utilised this time to observe people, read and begin her education as a psychotherapist.

In 2012 she completed her MSc in Psychodynamics of Human Development. Her career has spanned working with young offenders, with mental health charity’s such as Young Minds, working as Clinical Director of an EAP and running her own practice since 2009.

She now runs a thriving Mental Health consultancy which includes training leaders in mental health awareness, advising organisations on their mental health strategy, executive coaching for leaders wanting to create healthy workplaces and giving keynotes on mental health, authenticity and creating the Best Place to Work. Petra knows that the world of work is changing and organisations who are ahead of the curve in mental health innovation, retain staff, avoid long term absences, create safer places to work and are ultimately more productive environments.

09:15 - 09:45


09:45 - 10:00

Trainer's Welcome and Clarification of Learning Objectives

10:00 - 10:30

Reviewing Mental Health and Your Workplace

• Challenging misconceptions and stigma surrounding mental health
• Understanding the effects of poor mental health on employees
• How mental health affects your organisation

10:30 - 11:15

Identifying Triggers and Stressors in Your Work Environment

• Recognising good and bad practice
• The difference between pressure and stress – positive driver vs. negative energy sap
• Examining your organisational culture

11:15 - 11:30

Morning Break

11:30 - 12:00

Organisation Strategies: Leading Mental Wellbeing from the Top-Down

• Navigating legal obligations
• Supporting managers and team leaders
• Supporting staff in prevention and care
• The 6 core standards for better mental health at work

12:00 - 12:45

The Role of a Mental Health Leader: How and When to Help

• How to responsibly monitor team members and workloads
• How to handle disclosure conversations
• Handling absences and the ensuring a smooth return to work
• Encouraging employee self-care and a culture of openness

12:45 - 13:45


13:45 - 14:30

Employee Strategies: Helping Your Team Pursue Mental Wellbeing

• Practicing self-care in the office and at home
• Having conversations around mental health
• The importance of supporting colleagues

14:30 - 16:00

Workshop: Designing a Mental Health Plan that Works for You

16:00 - 16:15

Feedback, Evaluation & Close

Central London