Rise in mental health issues within Tech sparks need to industry-wide debate

Between 4 and 10 per cent of the population experience depression and anxiety at some point in their life, but in the tech sector, this figure rises to 52 per cent.

LONDON 8th  October 2019 – Ahead of this year’s World Mental Health Day, 360Leaders are gathering a panel of four prominent health-tech leaders for a half-day event taking place on 8th October in central London. The event will debate how the tech sector in the UK must take urgent action to tackle the worrying rise in reported mental health issues in the workplace.

Entitled, “A Healthy Bottom Line: Re-thinking Corporate Health and Wellbeing”, tech Founders, CEOs, CPOs and Heads of Talent will have the unique opportunity to hear from those at the forefront of reducing the number of tech professionals who experience work-related mental health problems.

Panellists include Stephen Bourke, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at health tech start-up Echo, who will talk from personal experience about mental health, the pressures that founders are under and how recognising anxiety can make a stronger, more effective leader.

Statistics published earlier this year show that one in four tech workers in the UK have been diagnosed with a mental health condition over the last 12 months, and this number is set to rise. Despite its increasing prominence, just 8 per cent of boards are actively engaged in the conversation about psychological health at work.

Discussing these figures on the panel will be Stephen Waterman, Chief Operating Officer at technology platform Hero, used by forward-thinking businesses to track staff health and wellbeing, as well as James McErlean, General Manager at Headspace, an innovative app bringing meditation and mindfulness into the workplace.

Catherine de la Poer, an executive leadership coach with 360Leaders and Founder of Halcyon, will moderate the event. She said: “While there is greater awareness of the importance in addressing mental health concerns among employees, there remains a degree of resistance within many organisations throughout the tech sector.

“There are two clear reasons for this. Firstly, there is the generational question. Those leaders who are nearing the close of their careers were very much brought up with the mindset of keeping quiet – the old “just get on with it” attitude.

“Those at the other end of the age scale, millennials, have an altogether different approach. This group of workers are now entering management and leadership roles and very much adhere to the “a problem shared is a problem halved” mentality. 

“The second key issue is a lack of real understanding not only of the business benefits to be gained by having a supportive workplace culture, but how to actually create and maintain one in the first place. It is these two areas that this event will seek to address and provide tech leaders with insights that they can implement within their own organisations.”

Tech leaders will:

  • Gain a greater understanding of how mental health issues affect their employees and the bottom line of the business itself
  • Be provided with the tools that will empower them to better support their teams on an individual level
  • Identify ways of how tech can not only boost staff retention and lower absenteeism, but also how doing so will boost their status as an employer of choice and a more attractive proposition to potential investors

Further details for the A Healthy Bottom Line: Re-thinking Corporate Health and Wellbeing event can be found here 

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