Meetings Industry Association Launches Mental Health Campaign

Meetings Industry Association (mia) announced a mental health campaign July 26 to raise awareness of mental health, encouraging meeting and event professionals to get on board. The partnership with Roffey Park, a charitable leadership development organization, which will focus on the impacts mental health and compassion have on recruitment, staff retention, engagement and—ultimately—the bottom line.

Mia is encouraging industry leaders to participate in a series of focus groups to determine what the sector already does well to create compassionate workplaces, and what can be done better to improve mental wellbeing. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear what other organizations are doing while contributing to new research and development for the future.

The topic is timely. Helen Moon, founder of Eventprofs Who Lunch, brought awareness to mental health in the industry with her blog post about living with bipolar. She has also partnered with International Live Events Association to launch a similar campaign called EventWell.

Mental health is detrimental to an individual’s physical wellbeing and the productivity of the workplace as a whole. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness nearly 1 in 25 adults in America live with a serious mental illness and 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness in a given year. Participating in mental health awareness campaigns can create positive change for the economy. In the U.S., serious mental illness costs $193.2 billion in lost earning every year.

“Creating more compassionate workplaces should be part of the business strategy of any organization,” says Michael Jenkins, CEO of Roffey Park. “The direct and indirect benefits of improving human relationships cannot be understated. Making work a better place to be is good for wellbeing, good for mental health in particular and fantastic for your overall employer brand.”

Ideas to create a compassionate work environment

Lunch discussion: Get your colleagues together for lunch and open a discussion about mental health. Go over signs of thriving and signs of surviving. Refer to the Mental Health Foundation for more information.

Wellbeing breakfast: Have a pot luck style breakfast on Monday morning to get the week starting off on a positive note. Catch up with colleagues and talk about goals for the upcoming week.

Hump-day stress reduction: On Wednesday take a short break from your work and conduct an impromptu stress reduction class. Stretch and meditate together to feel relaxed yet ready to be productive the remainder of the week.

Affirmation Friday: Boost morale and encourage employees to be supportive of one another by creating a space in the office for colleagues to write notes of affirmation. Have employees acknowledge the great work others are doing by writing a short note throughout the week. On Friday, get together and pass them out.