Sheffield solicitors are bringing mental health to the top of the agenda at a seminar later this month.

More than 60 delegates have signed up to attend Wake Smith Solicitors September HR Forum, organised with recruitment company Brewster Pratap, at the AMP Technology Centre.

Guest speaker is Andy Flockton from Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England’s National Training Team who is also a freelance mental health first aid trainer and associate at MHFA England.

Andy, who also offers mental health development support to organisations in the North of England, will cover how employers can pick up on mental health distress and make reasonable adjustments in the workplace at the event on September 13.

Wake Smith employment solicitor Holly Dobson (pictured) will present on the legals around employer’s duties, managing change and working time regulations as well as offer practical advice on issues surrounding mental health in the workplace.

Holly Dobson said: “Mental health in the workplace is now being taken very seriously.

“Employers need to take steps to re-educate their workforce and encourage a safe environment in which mental health can be discussed honestly and openly.

“Businesses are now being encouraged to consider well-being policies in their every-day work with research confirming links between developing an employee engagement culture and improved communication and productivity.

“A positive approach means businesses can make huge advancements in breaking taboos around mental health. It needs to be a priority in the workplace, just as physical health has been in recent years.”

Research shows that mental health issues cost the UK economy some £16 billion per annum – £3bn for therapists’ fees and £13bn for lost productivity, absenteeism and the use of other government services.

According to NHS England, one in four people in the UK will suffer mental health symptoms at some stage in their working lives. The CIPD states the average annual cost of absenteeism per UK employee is £760.

Places are still available on the free seminar, which runs from 12-2pm and includes lunch. To book a place contact Amy Wood at Brewster Pratap