The 2017 Disability Conference will be held at the Southern Sun OR Tambo International Airport Hotel on September 19. This year’s conference will focus on mental health. Mental disorders have increased by 22,7 percent with an estimated one in five people suffering (or will suffer) from mental illness.
Equipping human resources (HR) managers and staff with the knowledge and understanding needed to proactively address and manage mental health in the workplace is essential. The conference programme will cover the basic definitions for mental disability, the barriers face by people with disability in the workplace, how to overcome these barriers and create a disclosure friendly environment.
“Mental illness is a topic that is all too often shunned and stigmatised. Through this conference and other endeavours, we aim to create a deeper understanding and acceptance of this subject, especially in the workplace,” says Tarryn Mason, the managing director of Progression.
Speakers at the Disability Conference include Keshika Naidoo, registered occupational therapist, Justene Smith, disability specialist at Progression, Tarryn Mason and Tyrone Edgar. Each speaker will share their expertise regarding the disclosure process, confidentiality, diagnosis and understanding of mental health conditions and more.
Some of the highlights planned for the conference include a guide to mental wellbeing in the workplace, a free workplace wellness toolkit, activities geared to a better understanding of mental disability and a Wellness Day giveaway.
The programme for the Disability Conference will be presented in a talk-show format to encourage conversations between speakers and audiences. The participation of HR and employment equity managers, transformation specialists, health and wellness practitioners and CEOs is encouraged.
“Creating a better understanding and awareness of mental disabilities in the workplace, and society in general, is the first step towards an inclusive workforce. We look forward to the conversations that will take place,” concludes Mason.