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Mia launches mental health campaign

Industry body calls for events industry leaders to get involved by attending focus groups in August

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) has announced a campaign to raise awareness of mental health, and is calling for events professionals to get on board.

The representative body says the campaign, in partnership with Roffey Park, will focus on what impacts mental health and compassion in the workplace has not only on recruitment, staff retention and engagement, but ultimately on the bottom line.

It comes after Eventprofs Who Lunch founder Helen Moon shined awareness on mental health in the industry with an honest blog on living with bipolar, while she has also teamed up with International Live Events Association to launch a similar campaign, EventWell.

The mia is calling upon industry business leaders to take part in a series of focus groups, led by Roffey Park. These discussions will address opinions on what the sector currently does well to create compassionate workplaces, and how improvements could be made to improve resilience and mental well-being.

By participating in the groups, attendees will be able to hear what other organisations are doing to build compassionate and productive workplaces, and have an opportunity to contribute to new research and the development of the sector for the future.

The two focus groups will take place on Tuesday 22 August at Luton Hoo Hotel, and on Tuesday 29 August at the NEC in Birmingham. Three focus groups will take place each day, at 10am, 12pm and 2.30pm, lasting approximately 90 minutes each.

Chief executive of the mia Jane Longhurst said: "With the challenges we’re all facing as business leaders in the hospitality sector as a consequence of Brexit, this timely partnership will help us ensure we make real progress in making our industry a desirable and rewarding place to work."

Michael Jenkins, CEO of Roffey Park said: "Creating more compassionate workplaces should be part of the business strategy of any organisation. 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."

Findings from the focus group research and from an online survey, which can be accessed here, on mental health and compassion will be presented at a one-day event hosted by the mia in November. Roffey Park will also be designing a one-day workshop based on the findings of the study, exclusively available to mia members from January 2018. Those interested in participating in a focus group can email Shauna Murray at 

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