Mental health advocate and world champion boxer Carl Frampton MBE addresses 170 HR leaders at employee wellbeing conference in Belfast

Responsible business network Business in the Community Northern Ireland (BITCNI) convened HR and operations professionals to address pressing workplace wellbeing issues at the 2023 Healthy Working Lives conference, held at Riddel Hall Belfast, on 8 June.

The theme of the conference was promoting wellbeing using a human-centred approach and expert speakers from Queen’s University Belfast, AG Paving and Building Products, Ulster University, Danske Bank, The Wellbeing Pathway, and Women in Business inspired business leaders to cultivate a culture that revolves around its people and considers their specific needs.

Host and BBC Health Correspondent Marie-Louise Connelly was joined on stage by two-weight world champion boxer and passionate mental health advocate Carl Frampton MBE for an insightful Q&A session following his lauded Men in Crisis BBC documentary which aimed to understand why so many young men in Northern Ireland are struggling with their mental health.

Business in the Community national Wellbeing Director Louise Aston shared insights from the recently published Prioritising People research report which indicated current wellbeing programmes offered by most organisations in the UK fail to address the biggest lever to improve health: negative work behaviours.

Ms Aston said: “Rather than focusing on specific individuals, businesses need to put psychological and social safety on the same foot as physical safety to tackle the root cause of poor health and wellbeing.”

She advised that a strategic approach to wellbeing is required for an organisation’s long-term success and recommended that: “Employers should develop a holistic approach with a long-term view, rather than simply measuring short-term costs and actions. Holistic wellbeing encompasses all four pillars: mental, physical, social and financial health.”

Breakout sessions addressed themes of financial wellbeing, menopause and resilience, and an exhibition area connected delegates with charities and service providers who can support employers on the issues addressed in the conference.

Kieran Harding, Managing Director, Business in the Community NI said: “There is no doubt that we are living in challenging times and there is much for business to think about and act on when it comes to taking care of the wellbeing of their people.

“This conference signposts, inspires and enables businesses on how they can implement practical measures to promote better wellbeing. Business in the Community is committed to supporting all businesses to achieve this.”
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