Programme

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Delegate registration

With networking and refreshments

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Chair's welcome and opening remarks

Adam Saville, Editor, COVER

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Opening keynote: Grief in conversation

Grief comes in many forms. It is something we’ll all have to face, but few of us are prepared for. How can we help ourselves? How can we support friends, colleagues and customers facing it right now? How can we face such trauma in a positive way, without getting stuck? If you haven’t suffered a loss personally yet, you will undoubtedly find yourself alongside those who have. Having both suffered the loss of their children, Lizzie Pickering and Luke Ashworth discuss their own journeys of grief to give some insight on how we could all be better prepared; both at home and in the workplace.

Luke Ashworth, Founder, Adviser.ai
Lizzie Pickering, Film Producer and Grief Investigator

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Why is Mental Health such a challenge for the Protection market? If we get it right, does everyone benefit?

Protection insurance is part of the infrastructure of our society and we have had centuries to hone our craft. Why then is mental health proving to be a complex and multi-faceted challenge for our industry? Mental illness is now the leading cause of work absence and long-term work incapacity in the developed world. To date we have approached the condition as any other illness and expect to deal with a clearly defined prognosis and impact. However, the spectrum of mental health is far more complex and reflects community norms and views in ways that other illness doesn’t. This session will provide insights into designing products for the mental health spectrum, challenging the way we underwrite and the prevalence of the ‘stress’ claim. Can insurance ever effectively provide cover for coping with the pressures of everyday life and work? Will community attitudes and expectations provide the trigger to approach this problem in an entirely new way?

Debbie Kennedy, Protection Managing Director, LV=

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Back to work - Rehabilitation and support

After a bout of poor mental health, there is nothing more counterproductive than struggling to get back into work. Access to proper rehabilitation that provides the right treatment for the appropriate people, ultimately helping them get back to work quicker. Government calculations have suggested that the economic cost for sickness absence could be as high as £100bn a year, with mental health fast becoming one of the leading conditions cited by employees as the reason for their long-term sickness absence. The need for insurers to provide rehabilitation services that get people back into work has never been more important. So, what are the obstacles and how can we ensure we are offering best-in-class support to policyholders?

Vanessa Sallows, Claims & Governance Director, Legal & General

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Panel discussion: Burnout

A recent survey of 140 companies conducted by Dolan Contractor Group found that almost 90% of workers suffer excessive stress. Mental health in the workplace has become a key focus for a large proportion of UK HR departments, however the underlying problem persists. Our ‘always on’ culture means often our work lives bleed into our personal, leading to a blurring of lines and unclear on and off periods. This is a problem that has surely been around for generations, however it seems to have taken centre-stage in recent years, especially in 2019 when occupational burnout was officially classed as a condition by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In this panel discussion, our expert panellists will assess the common causes of burnout, what can be done to help those in need and how finding time to unplug can be hugely beneficial to our mental health.

Jenni Cochrane, Co-Founder & CEO, Getahead
Debbie Kleiner, Head of Workplace Wellbeing, PES
Roy Mcloughlin, Associate Director, Cavendish Ware

Chair: Adam Saville, Editor, COVER

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Networking break
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Charity Partner Insight: Signposting and access to insurance for potentially vulnerable customers

Drawing upon 40 years’ worth of experience gained from supporting people affected by mental health problems, Mental Health UK will provide some guidance on how we can better manage employee wellbeing in the workplace appropriately and with sensitivity. The charity organisation will explore the language the insurance industry uses when dealing with potentially vulnerable customers and how signposting can be used to improve access to insurance.

Sarah Murphy, Associate Director for Advice, Information & Training, Mental Health UK

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A new approach to mental illness – how it can and is changing
  • The evolution of underwriting - how insurers have labelled individuals
  • Gathering information and understanding individuals and learn who they are
  • Moving into the future of underwriting and how to see individuals not stereotypes

Keith Robertson, Senior Underwriter, Holloway Friendly

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Taking a whole person, whole organisation approach to embedding health and wellbeing into workplace culture

Only through upholding all four pillars of wellbeing – mental, physical, financial and social – can businesses achieve positive long-term organisational cultures. Based on its own evidence based, ‘Workwell Model’ and a commitment to Thriving at Work Report standards, responsible business charity, Business in the Community (BITC) will put forward the case that a systematic approach to tackling the root causes of health and wellbeing is the key to maximising employee wellbeing.

Louise Aston, Wellbeing Director, Business in the Community

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Networking lunch

Stream Chair: Luke Ashworth, Founder, Adviser.ai

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Making the case for mindfulness at work

The evidence for mindfulness meditation on good mental health has been growing and growing over the past few years, but has received some criticism too, due to the mass-commoditisation of the market. However, despite the scepticism, if stripped back to its core components the benefits to your mental health are tenfold. In this session our speaker will articulate the key benefits of mindfulness, how to cut through the noise and how businesses can use these practices to help their employees.

Hannah Loveday, Wellbeing Consultant, Loveday Wellbeing

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Panel discussion: Getting to know modern workers

We are living an age of the multigenerational workers. Managing the gap between five generations of workers, from boomers to Gen Z is no mean feat, especially when it comes to considering their mental health and wellbeing. With such a wide range of lived experience all working together, how can employers offer solutions to their staff that fully take into account the differing needs of their age-diverse workforces? In this panel discussion we will consider how to personalise wellbeing solutions to every age, how you can use data to effectively analyse and therefore personalise, and finally the pitfalls and key considerations to bear in mind.

Steve Butler, CEO, Punter Southall Aspire
Steve Casey, Marketing Director, Square Health

Melissa Doman, M.A., Organisational Psychologist and Ex-Mental Health Therapist
Chair: Adam Saville, Editor, COVER

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Panel discussion: Developing a financial wellbeing strategy

Financial stress can be one of the driving causes of poor mental health. 78% of UK employees rely on finance options between pay cheques, with this figure rising to 91% in London. Becoming financially resilient and independent benefit not only an employee’s mental health, but also comes with a whole host of business benefits, such as marked boosts in productivity and engagement. Offering support and guidance and integrating financial wellbeing into the workplace is crucial to achieving this but a strategy must be put in place. This discussion will look at exactly how organisations can go about developing their financial wellbeing strategy, what the key benefits of doing so are, and how to improve employee engagement of personal finance.

Cheryl Brennan, Director of Corporate Consulting, Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing
Richard Campo, Managing Director, Rose Capital Partners
Erik Porter, Acting CEO, Initiative for Financial Wellbeing

Chair: Roy McLoughlin, Associate Director, Cavendish Ware

Stream Chair: Adam Saville, Editor, COVER

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Panel discussion: Words matter - Language, underwriting and communication

The language we use plays a big part in peoples understanding and perception of mental health. Communication is key as misunderstanding leads to misdiagnosis meaning that vulnerable clients won’t get the advice or treatment that they need. Mental health underwriting has a huge role to play with this, is the language we use exclusionary and what can be done to ensure we are tailoring our approach to every individual? In this session, our expert panel will consider the role of language in communicating mental health, best in class inclusive underwriting and the role of the underwriter in the assessment of protection.

Kathryn Knowles, Managing Director, Cura Financial Services
Terry Streather, Director, Oakwood Training
Andrew Wibberley, Director, Alea Risk
Chair: Adam Saville, Editor, COVER

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Providing self-help tools to keep policyholders happy and healthy

Appropriately supporting the mental health of policyholders is an extremely difficult thing to get right. As well as financial peace of mind, protection policies can provide the self-help tools, such as online CBT, to keep policyholders mentally healthy. What can the industry do to help make the process of caring for clients easier and how can these approaches be tailored on a case-by-case basis?

Vanessa Sallows, Claims & Governance Director, Legal & General
Clare Price, Head of Psychological Services, CBT Clinics

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Finding Life Insurance After A Suicide Attempt – How Is Plan B Working?

An update on the life insurance mental health pilot that aims to help those with significant mental health histories who have previously struggled to be able to find cover. Who struggles and why? How does plan B work? To what extent has it been successful?

Andrew Wilkinson, Director, Moneysworth

Stream Chair: Zoe Sinclair, Founder, This Can Happen

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Panel discussion: Technology and Innovation – a hope for a healthier future?

Technological advancement over the last decade has revolutionised the way we work as a society. The dawn of digitalisation has spawned flexible and remote working. However, how do we get the balance right for employees? Employers are increasingly being called upon the find new ways to support the mental health of staff in the midst of a highly charged technology-driven environment and an ‘always on’ corporate culture. This panel will discuss the latest innovations within workplaces and how we can improve productivity and not hinder it using technology.

Simon Jay, Commercial Director, Thrive Therapeutic Software
Laura Stembridge, CEO & Founder, InsideOut

Chair: Zoe Sinclair, Founder, This Can Happen

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How to be authentic – unlocking our true selves at work

Have you ever felt that there's a part of your personality that you keep to yourself? That, for one reason or another, you don't reveal to other people, as much as sometimes you'd love to let it loose, especially at work? Perhaps it's out of fear of judgement. Or it could even be down to the ideals that society has projected onto you about how you should or should not behave. In this session, an author, consultant and workplace wellbeing expert will tackle imposter syndrome and how we can foster inclusive corporate cultures that can unlock an employee’s true potential at work.

Andrée Funnell, Coach, L&D Consultant & Author

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Taking addiction seriously

Geoff Mascall, Operations Manager for addiction treatment firm UKAT will discuss the prevalence of certain addictive behaviours which can arise from 'stressful' working lives, the impact of social media and technology, whether addictions can be effectively treated and how, and ways to talk to claimants with addictions.

Geoff Mascall, Operations Manager, UKAT

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Networking break
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Case study: How we can all deal with mental health better at work

In a personal case study, marketing strategy director Rhys Williams shares why opening up about his mental health at work was the best thing he ever did.

Rhys Williams, Strategy Director, Quietroom

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Empowering people to bring their whole self to work

Focusing on the interconnection between diversity and inclusion, wellbeing and performance, Mental Health First Aid England will explore how employers can create workplace cultures that empower employees can be themselves at work, feel more engaged and reach new levels of productivity.

Ama Afrifa-Tchie, Head of Culture and Wellbeing, MHFA England

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Closing keynote: Achieving Great Mental Health - A New Hope

Whilst mental health awareness is rising steadily, treatment options for those who suffer from mental illness hasn't changed in over half a century. During this presentation, drawing upon both his personal and professional experience, Matt will lift the lid on a new hope for treating mental ill health

Matt Janes, Neuroscience, Functional Medicine & Mental Health Practitioner

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Chair's closing summary

Adam Saville, Editor, COVER

Conference close

Please note that this programme is subject to change