Businesses will learn how to combat stress and improve mental health in the workplace during an innovative business clinic at this year’s YEN Expo conference. The session, “Becoming Mentally Strong – Stress, Resilience and Relaxation” will be delivered by Chakra Corporate Mental Strength to enhance people’s understanding of individual experiences of stress and how it manifests itself in our brains and bodies. YEN Expo 2017 takes place at Bradford College’s David Hockney campus on Monday, November 6 with the Chakra lunchtime clinic going on from 12.15 to 1.30pm.

Run by Yorkshire Enterprise Network, the Expo is one of Yorkshire’s biggest and most innovative business events, expected to attract more than 1,500 delegates, with £1 billion worth of industry and services on show. Free to attend for delegates, it features a range of panels and seminars covering a broad cross section of subjects. Leeds-based Chakra Corporate delivers Mental Strength Training Programmes designed to destigmatise mental health issues in the workplace and increase resilience to stress by equipping staff to combat ill health at the earliest stage.

Mental issues have been very much in the spotlight recently with World Suicide Prevention Day in September, World Mental Health Day this month (October) and Stress Awareness Day on November 1 just before the conference takes place.

Chakra’s Managing Director Zainah Khan said: “Mental health issues affect everyone, and that doesn’t exclude the business community. This is the perfect time to get businesses thinking about how mentally healthy their workforces are and, if there are improvements to be made, we want to help. Mental ill health leads to underperformance and that costs businesses in absenteeism and presenteeism – which is when staff are mentally unwell but still coming to work, for a variety of reasons.”

“In the UK, depression and anxiety currently equate to 90 million sick days per year. The cost of absenteeism is £8 billion per year and the more frightening one, presenteeism, costs an eye-watering £18 billion per year. So paying attention to mental health is an essential investment into human capital. A business’s most important asset is its people and employers will soon see the results of taking mental health seriously when staff begin to perform better. Aside from the benefits to the business though, employers also have a duty of care towards their employees and a core part of this is ensuring they have a mentally healthy workforce. We spend so much of our time at work and we deserve to feel at our best when we are there. YEN Expo attracts a diverse range of businesses and our session will provide useful knowledge to business people across a multitude of industries. We are making the most of this opportunity to get the word out and break the stigma!”

She added that the session would be ideal for HR staff who are seeking to support their teams to take personal responsibility and feel empowered and motivated. It’s the first time an event of this kind has been introduced to the YEN Expo schedule. YEN Director Sheraz Malik said: “Our mental health impacts every aspect of our daily life and it’s vital that all organisations understand that impact, which affects staff and management alike. From a business perspective there is a direct bearing on output and productivity and it’s important to have a positive attitude on mental health issues.

“We’re keen to introduce new and different elements to YEN Expo every year and one of our aims is to provide a platform to share key knowledge. Zainah has some extremely valuable insights on this issue which businesses can greatly benefit from.”

Chakra was launched in April 2016 by Zainah, a qualified psychotherapist and counsellor who has worked in a number of corporate environments, including financial services and education. Her work has included supporting clients in therapy with Victim Support and a Domestic Violence Unit, as well as one-to-one therapy with students at all levels across Leeds. Now in the corporate world, she has delivered a wide variety of training programmes on a number of subjects associated with Mental Health and Stress Resilience to companies and organisations like Yorkshire Water, Leeds Beckett University, Lupton Fawcett Solicitors, Craven College, Specsavers and the NHS.

Last year, Chakra Corporate won legal support worth £5,000 in the Business Advantage Awards run by Leeds Beckett University in conjunction with Lupton Fawcett Solicitors.

To book a place on the session or find out more about YEN Expo 2017 and the events lined up for the day visit: