One in three South Africans has some form of mental disability. Learning more about mental disability and how to proactively address mental health in the workplace will come under the spotlight at the 2017 Disability Conference to be held at the Southern Sun OR Tambo International Airport on 07 November.
The conference will be hosted by Progression, which offers organisations disability equity solutions and a variety of products in the employment equity, disability equity, skills development, training and recruitment arenas. Access@Progression is Progression’s assessment centre.
Progression Managing Director, Tarryn Mason, says the conference will explore the dynamics of mental health in the workplace. “Mental illness is an all too often shunned and stigmatised topic. Through this conference and other endeavours, we aim to break through this stigma and create a deeper understanding and acceptance of the subject, especially in the workplace.”
Mason says about one in five people will, or does, suffer from a mental illness. “Equipping HR managers, and staff in general, with the knowledge and understanding needed to proactively address and manage mental health in the workplace is vital.”
The programme, which will run over one day, aims to unpack, among other things, what mental disability is, barriers faced by people with disabilities in the workplace, overcoming these barriers, and creating a disclosure-friendly environment.
Speakers at this year’s Disability Conference will include registered Occupational Therapist, Keshika Naidoo; Disability Specialist at Progression, Justene Smith; Managing Director at Progression, Tarryn Mason, and Clinical Psychologist, Tyrone Edgar. Each speaker will share their own expertise as they guide delegates through the disclosure process, confidentiality, diagnosis and understanding of mental health conditions, amongst others.
Highlights of the Disability Conference will include a guide to ensure mental wellbeing in the workplace, a free workplace wellness toolkit, various activities geared towards better understanding of mental disability in the workplace and a Wellness Day giveaway.
Join the Discussion
The programme for the Disability Conference will be presented in a talk-show format to encourage interaction between speakers and audiences. The topics will be of interest to Human Resource Managers and Employment Equity Managers, Transformation Specialists, Health and Wellness Practitioners and senior management.
“Creating a better understanding and awareness of mental disabilities in the workplace and society is the first step towards an inclusive workforce,” concludes Mason. “We look forward to the conversations that will take place at this year’s Disability Conference with a view to shedding light on this overlooked subject and addressing the challenges still being faced and how to overcome them.”