Making Leeds a Beacon City for Positive Mental Health

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Making Leeds a Beacon City for Positive Mental Health

Our Aim for 2015 – Making Leeds a Beacon City for Positive Mental Health at Work

Employers across Leeds responded with real positivity and pragmatism to the Leeds Mindful Employer project’s call to aim for positive mental health at work in 2014.

Milestones for the year included the Achieving Positive Mental Health at Work conference, which featured 18 speakers, including Professor Dame Carol Black. More than 150 delegates attended this event, and many of them pledged to make changes in their own workplace, from developing a wellbeing strategy to initiating a campaign to address men’s mental health.

Signatories of the MINDFUL EMPLOYER charter in Leeds have also doubled since 2013. With large organisations such as Morrisons, Eversheds and Yorkshire Water signing the charter, employers across the region are really leading the way in promoting positive practice around mental wellbeing in the workplace.

The buzz is growing – and so is the Leeds Mindful Employer Network. Following the conference, 11 new employers joined the Network, including West Yorkshire Fire Service and YBS group. The next Network meeting, on April 23, will feature a great case study from Capital One – a business which has successfully used Mindfulness to improve productivity and reduce sickness absence.

We’re in a great place to build on this success for 2015 – and it’s a great time to introduce some new ideas and creativity by bringing new people on board to the project.

The Mindful Employer Steering group (pictured) has a new chair, Steve Callaghan, who is a mental health commissioner for Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups (pictured second from right). Other new members include Benny Owens (also pictured), Associate HR Director, Leeds Beckett University.

There is also a new Mindful Employer coordinator, Sarah Moore, who will be taking over from Sally Hall as of April 2015. Sarah is coming to the role from a background in corporate sustainability and CSR, having worked at ASDA, Kelloggs and Northern Powergrid.

Sarah (pictured third from left) will be applying her enthusiasm and experience to support employers to work towards enhancing mental wellbeing in their workplaces. Specific projects planned for 2015 include:

  • Developing a mental wellbeing toolkit, designed for employers by employers
  • Focusing on men’s mental health
  • Creating sector-specific networking opportunities
  • Planning for the next Leeds Mindful Employer conference in 2016

We’d love to hear from anyone with ideas for making Leeds a beacon city for positive mental health in 2015 – please get in touch with Sarah on 0113 230 2631 or email

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