A packed Mad World Summit on 9 October in London presented high-profile speakers, including comedian and campaigner Ruby Wax and BBC’s Kate Silverton, and the latest technology to help us confront poor mental health at work. Yet with its focus on communications, apps and self-management, the role of legislation was sidelined.

This year’s summit, its second, had the feeling of a mental health anniversary with both Peter Cheese, of CIPD, and Paul Farmer, of Mind, reflecting on the topic’s journey from marginal to mainstream in the last 10 years. The summit had a celebratory and forward-looking energy that spoke of an unfolding ‘quiet revolution’.

It began with big opening keynotes from Ian Stuart (HSBC UK Bank) and Dame Carol Black (expert advisor on health and work to NHS England). Stuart outlined initiatives to enable people with challenges – from disabilities to life conditions, such as menopause – to thrive at HSBC, creating a caring and proactive culture that empowered people to speak up. Black focused on good-quality management to prevent poor mental health and enabling people to thrive.


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