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Navigating Mental Health and Wellbeing at LPI Learning Live: Insights and Inspiration


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In today's fast-paced and ever-evolving world, the challenges we face extend far beyond the professional realm. Mental health and well-being have emerged as a central theme, demanding attention and action across various sectors, including the Learning and Development industry.


At the recent  LPI  Learning Live event, mental health and wellbeing took the spotlight as the 4th of the top 5 challenges identified by the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI).


Let's dive into the key takeaways from the 2023 Learning Live event, featuring thought leaders who shared their insights and experiences.


Doctor Julie Smith's Keynote: Bridging the Gap in Mental Health Education 


Doctor Julie Smith's keynote address kicked off the event on an inspirational note. Her message emphasized the importance of “making mental health education accessible to all.” She stressed that the educational aspect of therapy is incredibly helpful and can empower individuals to manage their mental health effectively. One practical way to achieve this is through bite-sized videos, making it easier for people to access valuable information, which is now a key component of her social media communications strategy. 


She wasn’t surprised to find mental health and wellbeing is one of the top five challenges faced by professionals today.


“The fluctuation in mental states and emotions is entirely normal, and it's crucial to give mental health the same respect as physical health.”

She also spoke about the importance of resiliency and adaptability being critical in the learning and development process, and providing practical tools for individuals to use is essential. These tools can include exercises, writing down thoughts and feelings, and the powerful technique of reframing negative language into a more positive and empowering perspective. 


Doctor Smith left us with a powerful mantra:


"Today is a good day!"

Emphasizing the importance of owning the present moment. Many individuals are still dealing with the residual effects of the pandemic, which has undoubtedly impacted the workplace. The rise of hybrid work arrangements, while bringing both positives and negatives, underscores the importance of agency over one's work-life balance. It's clear that the responsibility for addressing mental health and wellbeing lies not only with learning and development but also with corporate leadership, however, learning professionals can help to lead the way! 


Gary Neville's Keynote: Building Resilience and Relentless Work Ethic 

Gary Neville, the CEO of Relentless Group and former Manchester United football legend, took the stage on day two. His keynote focused on attitude, work ethic, and the power of teamwork in the pursuit of happiness. Neville shared personal anecdotes from his own life and career, drawing inspiration from his grandfather's resilience during wartime. He emphasized that resiliency and robustness can be learned and taught, motivating the audience to embrace challenges for a healthy mindset. 



Neville stressed the importance of mistake management, encouraging individuals to get good at overcoming failures, using his short stint at Valencia as a key example:


“I learned more in my 4 months of struggle there than in my 20 years at Man United”.

He urged us to think of those who provide consistency and resiliency in our lives during tough moments. He also highlighted the significance of a sense of belonging and pride in a team, drawing parallels to his time at Manchester United with Alex Ferguson’s outstanding leadership. Examples used were Ferguson’s commitment to the team, showing up every Monday and Tuesday for training, his ability to empower rather than micromanage, and his clear communication style, where he didn’t shy away from tricky conversations, providing a sense of stability and loyalty to the leader. 


One of Neville's key takeaways was the importance of getting things done early in the day, simplifying the rest of the day's tasks. He emphasized that shortcuts can be a detriment, and instead, we should focus on consistent effort and hard work. 


Empowering Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace: Insights from Dr. Satnam Sagoo 

In a dedicated session during L&D Question Time, the spotlight shone brightly on the critical theme of improving mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Dr. Satnam Sagoo, Chief People Officer at the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, shared invaluable insights and perspectives on this pressing issue. 



Dr. Sagoo opened the discussion by underlining the pivotal role that learning leaders play in promoting employee well-being and providing support for mental health within the workplace. Recognizing that mental health is one of the top challenges faced by professionals today, she emphasized the need for proactive initiatives and resources that can be seamlessly integrated into learning programs. 


During his talk, Dr. Sagoo conveyed a simple yet profound message: "Health is wealth." She reminded the audience that the UK is a nation of people who often neglect routine health check-ups. As a business, Dr. Sagoo urged, organizations should take a proactive stance in encouraging employees to prioritize their physical and mental health, because without it they won’t be able to work, learn and achieve! 


One of the key takeaways from Dr. Sagoo's presentation was the importance of fostering a culture of care and support in the workplace. She encouraged attendees to go beyond superficial interactions and genuinely check in on their colleagues. In an era where many of us spend a significant portion of our lives at work, the workplace should be a space where employees can flourish both professionally and personally. 


Dr. Sagoo's insights were a powerful reminder that mental health and well-being are not just personal matters but integral components of an individual's ability to thrive in their role. By incorporating mental health awareness and resilience-building into learning programs, organizations can create a more compassionate and productive work environment, ultimately benefiting both employees and the bottom line. 


The session with Dr. Satnam Sagoo shed light on the critical importance of addressing mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. It reinforced the notion that learning leaders have a pivotal role in championing these initiatives and that by doing so, they can contribute to a healthier, more resilient, and happier workforce. 



The event served as a reminder that in today's world, holistic well-being and personal growth are integral to professional success and fulfillment. As we navigate the evolving landscape of work and learning, it's clear that prioritizing mental health and wellbeing is not just a challenge but an opportunity for positive change. 


Download our guide on employee well-being for better retention here.


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Read part 2 of our Learning Live wrap-up focused on the insights around learning in the flow of work.