The Green Room

I champion better mental health and wellbeing in the events industry. AMA

Helen Moon will be joining us live to discuss “I champion better mental health and wellbeing in the events industry AMA.”

Helens marketing and events career spans 24 years and she believes passionately in the value of live events and the power of the communications that all marketers create and deliver. Helen truly loves what she does, and believes that every individual should have the freedom and opportunity to find their passion in life.

Helens other passion is mental health and wellbeing. Helen founded Event Wellbeing Week and EventWell Ltd in 2017, the event industry’s charitable organisation and social enterprise dedicated solely to improving and changing the event industry’s relationship with wellbeing. EventWell is the mental health and wellbeing voice of the event industry, of which she is now the CEO and working with a team of fellow passionate trustees and volunteers, as dedicated as she is in keeping event professionals event well.

Helen’s all-time favourite quote:
“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely” - Roald Dahl

This is a great opportunity to ask Helen all of your burning questions and find out more about the fantastic work she is doing.

We hope to see you here Tuesday 20th July at 12pm!

You’ll need to sign up to the forum to take part. Once you have signed up, add this event to your calendar by clicking the three dots in the invitation above.

Hi Helen, Thanks for taking part in this AMA! Why do you think Event Well is so important for our industry?

2 Likes

Hi Helen :smile: really excited to meet you and take part in this discussion! I’m Laura and I have lots of questions I would love to ask you today - my first will be How often does mental health occur in the events industry? I imagine with all the workload you have it must get super overwhelming for a lot of people, especially with everything changing drastically within the past year. Looking forward to hearing your response! :hugs:

1 Like

Hi Hannah, great to be hear and a great question - it’s so important because we all have mental health and we all work in an incredibly pressured industry, especially over the last 12 months. Having an organisation that is dedicated to educating, campaigning and supporting better mental health and wellbeing in events is so important to making all of us feel supported and that we have a place to go for help and support if we are struggling.

2 Likes

Hi Helen,

It’s really exciting to have you here!
I have some questions that I’d love to ask.

What should the events industry start doing in order to champion better mental health?

2 Likes

Great to meet you Laura :slight_smile:

love your question! Mental health is not something that occurs or happens but something that we all have, in the same way that we have physical health. It’s important that we look after our mental health in the same way that we look after our physical health. Mental health is not necessarily poor mental health, just because you work in events it doesn’t mean you will experience poor mental health, but due to the pressures that we face: stakeholder management, communications, deadlines, expectations etc, we can become more susceptible to stress which can lead to poor mental health if not managed well :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Great question Karla!

The first thing the industry needs to do is accept that we all have mental health, and recognise that conversations about mental health are not just reserved for those we may be struggling or living with poor mental health.

We also need to start championing self-care and rest and recuperation rather then glorifying lack of sleep, long hours and not taking a break. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Thanks for your response :grin: I definitely agree that with lots of workload and not much managing it can take a toll on your mental health! Has there ever been a time where you would say you have struggled personally and how did you overcome it? I sometimes find myself wallowing in self doubt and that makes me even less motivated to get my tasks done, I would love to hear how I could manage it better to ensure I can always provide the best of myself to any situation where I would struggle :hugs:

1 Like

Hi Helen,

Thanks for taking the time to be here! I was wondering if there was a ‘right’ way to approach a colleague who may not be having the best time mentally. Some people aren’t familiar or comfortable with reaching out and I was wondering if there was something I could do to help make the process easier?

2 Likes

Brilliant question to ask Jane :slight_smile:
The best thing you can do for a colleague that you may be worried about is just to simply ask them if they are ok, ask twice “how are you today?”, if you get the usual I’m fine ask them again “how are you really today?”. They may come back and say I’m fine again, but they will know that you are a safe space for them to come and open up to you when you are ready. Remember though it is not your job or role to fix a problem, but simply listen without offering a fix or solution, and pointing them in the right direction for professional support. Simply offer them your space!

3 Likes

Thank you for your response!

What is EventWell doing to help those in the events industry know about the importance of mental health and mental wellbeing?

2 Likes

Tahnks for sharing Laura, I have Bipolar Disorder myself so there have been lots of times, and still are that I will find things challening and difficult. For me being self aware of how I am feeling and then being realistic about my capacity and what I may be able to manage at any given time is a lifeline. Learning self love as well will help you with any self doubt. I know that when I am struggling it is not because of me but because of my illness, and I’ve learnt to separate the two and not allow my mental health disorder to define who I am as a person. Just learnign to be more accepting of ourselves, kindness and self compassion will always help with this.

3 Likes

Thanks Helen! These past 12 months have definitely been hard on our industry.
How can workplaces support employees with their mental health and are there any initiatives that workplaces can implement?

1 Like

I agree, being respectful of their pace and boundaries is essential.
Is there ever a situation where it would be okay to let management know if you are worried about someone, particularly if work seems to be largely causing or adding stress?
And if so, is there a way to go about this without breaking your colleagues trust or without them feeling betrayed?

2 Likes

We work in three ways:
membership
outreach
support

We are a charitable organisation and social enterprise and with our membership we work with professionals in events and businesses and employers in events to educate on the importance of self care and culture, we do these through online learning, masterclasses, fitness classes, and forum

We offer educational outreach to the event industry and free events that people can attend via event wellbeing week in September and event wellbeing day in March, these have been held annually for five years now and are a great opportunity to get involved and do your own thing

We also offer vital financial and crisis support for anyone working in events, they can come to us for weekly grocery shops or a small relief grant and we will do what we can to help prevent them from falling into a ciris point

3 Likes

That really has helped me understand myself a lot more now and hopefully I can use this advice to overcome situations in the future :hugs: I tend to keep my mental illnesses to myself as I sometimes can get judged for them - it’s so wonderful and aspiring for you to be honest about yours and help others manage theirs better and feel more confident to come forward about them :yum:
What inspired you to create EventWell and the other industries you work in? I checked out your LinkedIn to find out a bit more info on yourself as this is a very inspiring topic for me :grin:

2 Likes

That is a tough one. I would exercise caution if you have not approached the person involved as you could damage any trust that person may or would have with you. It’s important to highlight the issue and the best thing you can do is encourage the individual to speak to their manager. Remember it is not your role or job to fix the situation, it is the individuals, all you need to do is offer them a space.

We offer advice on this in our mental health awareness pack:

be sensitive to their situation - be a listener
take them for a coffee and a chat
encourage the individual to seek help; speak to their line manager, human resources, GP
contact a mental health charity like EventWell
offer to go with them
follow up to see how they are getting on

:+1:

3 Likes

If we can all learn to be more open and honest about who we are and how we are feeling the event indsutry can become a much more inclusive and safer space for all of us. Mental health struggles should never be used against anyone and there are discrimination laws in place to protect against this. Stigma is a challening thing though and if we can learn to more accepting about our own mental health, we will learn to be more accepting of others. We all have things going on in our lives that people know nothing about, kindness and compassion for oursleves and others is so important. For me poor mental health should be about what has happened to people, not that there is anything wrong with a person.

3 Likes

Thank you so much!

As someone who struggles with mental health, it really makes me happy to see that there are organisations out there who educate organisations and business the importance of looking after our mental health.

What would be the best way for let’s say a manager or someone of higher authority to approach a colleague who is going through mental health and have opened up about it?

I noticed that there are sometimes cases where managers etc find it difficult to find the right approach.

3 Likes

I’ll be sure to take those steps and be on the cautious/sensitive side!

Events can be a very socially overwhelming experience. I realise some people thrive at them, however there are people like myself who can find them exhausting (and not in a good way). Is there a way events can be held to meet the two opposites in the middle, where it won’t make those with social anxiety dread attending whilst those who love the social buzz can’t wait to go and meet everyone?

3 Likes