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This Can Happen launches brand new workplace mental health awards

This Can Happen was the UK’s largest workplace mental health conference of 2018.  Its aim was to offer delegates practical, relatable solutions they could implement back into their workplaces through high level content. This included a session with HRH Prince William where he opened up for the first time about his struggles with mental health during his time as an RAF search and rescue pilot. This was so much more than a ‘celebrity appearance’ - it was a critical reminder that everyone and anyone can face mental health challenges at work. The impact of this session, and many others, equipped delegates with armloads of tried and tested strategies applicable to their own work environments. The success of the conference has inspired the team to launch a second event for 2019 – this time featuring the brand new This Can Happen Awards.

The inaugural This Can Happen Awards launched in May 2019 to recognise and celebrate organisations demonstrating excellence in mental health support for their employees.

We spoke to This Can Happen co-founder Zoe Sinclair about the inspiration for the awards and what the team hopes to achieve as a result of the initiative.

Q. Why did the TCH team decide to launch the awards?
We were so inspired by the fact that the first This Can Happen event in 2018 attracted over 750 delegates from over 150 organisations and we were so honoured to welcome HRH the Duke of Cambridge to share his own struggles. Since the big day we have been searching for the next step to continue to support employers on their workplace mental health journeys. We tried to find a way of publically recognising and rewarding those companies who were successfully implementing positive change as a direct result of This Can Happen’s impactful content. And the awards were born.

Q. What do you hope to achieve with the awards?
We hope that public recognition will not only encourage  more business leaders to think innovatively about the mental health of their staff and to treat it as a priority but that the strategies put in place by winning organisations will be used as a benchmark for the actions of others.

Q. Why is it important to recognise success with workplace mental health programmes and strategies?
A. Of course the real reward is the sustained mental wellness of staff but there’s also a genuine pride that comes from public recognition of any achievement. It’s so important to showcase these successes to promote the practices of these exemplary companies to their peers, current and prospective staff and customers. Everyone should know the benefits gained not only for the workforce itself, but toward the companies’ bottom lines. They should know it is possible for this to be the future of work, so that others will follow.

Q. How will the awards be judged and by whom?
A. 30% of each award will pertain to strategy, 30% to execution and implementation and 40% to results and impact. Successful companies will demonstrate evidence of a supportive environment and employee inclusivity. They will be judged on the synergy between their mental health strategies and related policies and how this is impacting wider workplace culture. Importantly, they will also be judged on how successfully they actively involve  employees who have experienced mental health problems in driving ongoing strategy and support of mental health programmes, for example through staff-led champions networks or committees.

Judges will initially come up with individual shortlists and will select the winners together. The judging panel will consist of a diverse range of senior business leaders with reputations for championing excellence in workplace mental health.

Judges - confirmed so far:

  • Shefali Gera EMEA Head of Wellness, Goldman Sachs
  • Miles Kean Executive Director, Entrepreneurs Division, Coutts & Co
  • Ché Donald National Vice Chair, Police Federation of England and Wales
  • James Tugendhat MD, International, Bright Horizons Family Solutions
  • Susan Gee Group Occupational Health & Wellbeing Manager, Yorkshire Water 
  • Katie Legg Director, Strategy and Partnerships, Mental Health UK
  • Monika Misra Head of Employee Health and Wellbeing, Europe, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Nici Matlow Director, HR, Swizzels Matlow
  • Dr. Arne Hugo Global Head of Employee Health and Wellbeing, GlaxoSmithKline

Q. Are the awards sector specific?
Absolutely not. We encourage all companies of every size, from every country and in every sector to enter. The awards are open to any workplace or individual who champions mental health.

Q. What are the categories?
The categories recognise the various aspects of delivering a successful workplace mental health strategy and include:

  • Best Mental Health in the Workplace Strategy: Large Company
  • Best Mental Health in the Workplace Strategy: SME
  • Best New Workplace Approach to Mental Health
  • HR / Wellbeing Team of the Year
  • Employee Network of the Year
  • Most Innovative Idea to improve Mental Health
  • Mental Health Campaign of the Year
  • ​Best Targeted Mental Health Initiative

Individual Recognitions

  • Most Inspiring Leader of the Year
  • Most Inspiring Employee of the Year
  • This Can Happen Future Leader Award

Recognition for Excellence and Outstanding Engagement

These categories are non-entering, and the winners will be chosen by the judges and This Can Happen founders.

  • This Can Happen Grand Prix Winner 2019

The judges will award this to the most outstanding award entry.

  • ​Founder’s Choice Award: Outstanding Service to Mental Health

This discretionary award is given by the This Can Happen founders to an individual or organisation deserving of recognition for their work in promoting excellence in mental health.

Don’t miss these key dates:

  • Entries open - 4 June 2019
  • Deadline for Entries - 12 September 2019
  • Shortlist Announcement - 29 October 2019
  • Awards Evening & Winners Announcement - Thursday 21 November 2019
  • Winners Announcement online - 22 November 2019
  • Shortlisted entries and winners will be publicised in the book of the night and the This Can Happen Awards eBook.

For all TCH awards queries please see our website or contact the team on awards@tchevents.com.

We look forward to receiving your entries – good luck!

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This Can Happen plays a crucial role in bringing together businesses from different sectors to share best practice. It’s an inspirational event full of progressive thinking and practical case studies on all aspects of mental health.

Tim Skelter, Corporate Affairs, Quilter