A serial entrepreneur and bestselling author from Wales has highlighted the pressing need for a greater awareness of the importance of mental health in the workplace – especially in the context of the challenges of COVID-19.
For Bernie Davies, a former lawyer, restaurateur, motivational speaker and owner of the Introbiz West Wales franchise, this is such a pressing topic that she has organised a one-day virtual conference dedicated to tackling this challenge, scheduled for Thursday October 15.
The event will feature a number of keynote speakers with personal experience of mental health challenges. They include Andrea Byrne, one of the best known news presenters of ITV News, who will share how she overcame personal challenges relating to infertility; Sue Worrall, a champion for nutrition and wellbeing; Mark Colbourne MBE Paralympic champion and international speaker; and Emma Jay, a stress management coach who supports several businesses with stress management during the pandemic.
The event is sponsored by Ministry of Furniture, the business that emerged from the closure of the Port Talbot Remploy factory in 2013, which designs and creates inspirational interiors for the smallest or largest workplaces – and has social values at its heart. Graham Hirst, managing director of Ministry of Furniture, will also speak at the event.
Health and wellbeing have always been dear to Bernie Davies’ heart. For over 14 years Bernie‘s son has battled mental health challenges. In the context of the challenges so many are facing due to the COVID-19 lockdown, she believes that employers must push the importance of mental health even further up the agenda. This has also been reflected in the many coaching and mentoring sessions Bernie participates in, helping individuals fulfil their potential in business.
Last Saturday was World Mental Health Day – an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. Bernie says this occasion also prompted a lot of discussion around the importance of mental health.
“We are living through unprecedented times when so many people are facing challenges on so many levels,” she said. “I am constantly speaking to businesses about the challenges they face, and I realised just how high up the agenda this has become for so many people. The best way of dealing with these issues is to be open and transparent about the challenges we are all facing and help each other. I was inspired to organise an event that addresses this topic, and I am delighted with the support we have received from speakers and delegates so far.”
Bernie recently formed a new venture, Bernie Davies Global, which has the stated aim of helping businesses and other entrepreneurs navigate the pitfalls of getting back to a new normal post COVID-19 lockdown – and ready to embrace the opportunities that emerge.
Bernie has also recently published a new book designed to help individuals fulfil their potential in business by better understanding what is truly unique about them – and the businesses they have created.
‘Your Business, Your Way’, No 1 on Amazons Hot New Releases list in the HR-Training category, builds on Bernie’s previous work the ‘Networking Handbook’, which has been used by hundreds of entrepreneurs to upskill themselves in the art of networking. Bernie argues that networking in the right way leaves an indelible imprint on those you meet, a phenomenon she calls the ‘You Print’.
Bernie boasts a remarkable CV. An attorney-at-law by training, she became head of property at NewLaw Solicitors, a role in which she became a successful networker, Dynamo Role Model for the Welsh Government and now Business Wales Mentor. She has since built a career as a serial entrepreneur, business strategist, motivational speaker and author. She launched a much-loved chain of restaurants called Jamaican Jill’s and owns Introbiz West Wales – a successful networking franchise.
She was also a founding council member of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, chair of the Neath Chamber of Trade, sits on the Black History Wales Management committee and has received numerous accolades including Best Caribbean Restaurant in Wales 2019, Swansea Black Icon 2019 and Excellence in Business 2017, an award associated with Black History Month. She was also voted in the Top 100 Business Women in Wales 2017.
If you would like to attend the virtual event on health and wellbeing, please visit the following link and register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/healthy-you-healthy-business-wellbeing-summit-tickets-121981410683
‘Your Business, Your Way’ can be purchased in Kindle and paperback at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Your-Business-Way-Perspective-Development-ebook/dp/B08FNJHRLF