Swindon Mindful Employer Network

About the Swindon Mindful Employer Network:

This network is aimed at increasing awareness of mental health and wellbeing in your workplace or business.   We welcome representatives of employers from all sectors.

Mental health and wellbeing is now a hot topic in the local business community, thanks to the growing demand and reputation of the Swindon Mindful Employer Network.  Even with challenging news on the economy in recent months, organisers behind the network are still seeing an increase in attendance at their events – concluding that mental health and well-being remains a top priority for Swindon firms.

The Swindon Mindful Employer Network gather for Mental Health@Work event at Excalibur, Arclite House

Melanie Richens who is the independent volunteer Chair of the growing network feels that the issues of wellbeing and the association with business performance is catching the attention of many employers in the town.  “I  am constantly surprised by the interest in this initiative. We used to get over 100 delegates at our annual conferences – now it is not uncommon to get that number at our regular meetings. It  seems to me that regardless of which way the economy is heading – mental health and wellbeing policies are becoming entrenched in the management culture of very many employers locally. This is great news for employees, business success and the positive reputation of the town moving forward.”

The network has produced some memorable events and awareness sessions since its formation in February 2008.  Topics involving managing stress, resilience, bereavement, asperger syndrome, employee engagement and absenteeism are among the many issues addressed at regular free meetings – which affords the opportunity for local businesses of various sectors and sizes to share experience and best practice. With generous support, the network meets at top class venues such as the Swindon Marriott, Jurys Inn Swindon and Nationwide House and is now viewed as one of the largest active business groups in Swindon.


Photo (left) – Delegate exercise at Resilience event at Swindon Marriott

Photo (right) – Delegates at resilience event at Swindon Marriott

David Latham, who manages the local initiative, believes the reputation and profile of the network is expanding as regular attendees recommend the group to their colleagues and business contacts.“Quite a variety of people from different backgrounds and skills are attracted by the sessions we stage. These include managers and business owners, HR and occupational health professionals, decision-makers and local influencers.”

While consulting employers actively involved in the initiative, the project team are planning some exciting themed events over the next few years which they believe will appeal to both regular participants and potential new attendees from Swindon business.“This has been a story of success – but we are not the sort of people to rest on our laurels” says Melanie.

The Swindon Mindful Employer Network is aimed at increasing mental health and wellbeing at work and is free to representatives of local employers in the Swindon area.  Attendance is targeted at employers only and booking is essential for all our events.

For information about upcoming events please email David Latham to join the mailing list.  Email: smen@swindonmind.org


Mental Health in the News

Links to news about Swindon Mindful Employers Network: Wiltshire Business online:

Why it’s good business to pay attention to mental health?

One in four people suffers from mental health issues in their lifetime, yet the stigma still attached to discussing it in some circles means it remains a delicate topic.  Those circles very much include places of work, where the fear of being labelled weak, incapable or hysterical by colleagues means many struggle in silence, rather than seek help.

Read more here

DoubleTree by Hilton Swindon to host workplace stress event for Swindon Mindful Employer

The recently rebranded DoubleTree by Hilton Swindon is to host a session of the highly successful Swindon Mindful Employer Network which features top mental health trainer Adrian Embling of Mindset Wessex on Monday March 13.

Read more here

Theresa May promises mental health care overhaul

Theresa May is pledging to help schools and companies in England deal with the “hidden injustice” of mental illness.

Read more here

Stress in the City: ‘At first, I thought my depression was a heart attack’

Geoff McDonald knows a thing or two about the January blues. For many, the start of the new working year is a gloomy period, with the third Monday (this year, 16th January) purporting to be the most depressing day on the whole calendar, what with broken resolutions, bleak weather and the post-Christmas/pre-pay day strain on the purse strings.

Read more here

Isabel Hardman: When my mind stopped working, I realised just how badly we treat mental health

A few years ago, a fellow political journalist asked me, quite sincerely, whether depression “really is an illness”. In 2016, when I decided to speak out about the mental illness that had forced me off sick for two months, the reaction could not have been kinder or more enlightened. I was inundated, not just with messages of support, but with people who I had admired for years telling me that they had been there too.

Read more here

Ruby Wax on mindfulness and why she doesn’t like the term ‘mental health’

She’s not, by the way, a fan of the term “mental health”. “Mental is physical,” she says, frankly. She’d like to get rid of the term, she admits, but is not sure what could replace it. “Brain health,” she ponders. “Like, you’d say liver health.”

Read more here

Wake up to the link between poor sleep and work performance

Traditionally, organisations that seek to enhance effectiveness have focused on developing leaders, managing talent and streamlining operations. However, research published in July 2016 by Hult International Business School suggests improving employees’ poor sleep may not only boost their health and wellbeing, but may give businesses a competitive advantage.

Read more here

Why are millennials stressed and what can we do about it?

Contrary to the perception that they’re the generation that’s been handed a free ticket to success, millennial workers were the most stressed. Ninety per cent of the millennials admitted to having been distracted by stress at work in the past year, with over a third (32%) regularly experiencing stress, and 6% being constantly distracted by stress.

Read more here

Why not watch all of our Swindon Mindful Employer Network films produced by James Harrison Productions here