Changing Times, Changing Minds: 2019 JOH Symposium

SMrob (cropped)

More than 100 property professionals are expected to come together to discuss mental health and wellbeing at an annual symposium organised by LionHeart.

The 4th annual John O’Halloran Symposium will take place on Tuesday June 18th at Paddington’s Storey Club, in London, with this year’s theme ‘Changing Times, Changing Minds’.

Delegates include senior industry leaders, HR directors and those with a responsibility for workplace health and wellbeing, who will hear about best practice on supporting positive mental health at work - and why it makes business sense to do so.

As well as hearing from keynote speakers from large corporates, some of LionHeart’s volunteer mental health ambassadors will be sharing their own experiences and facilitating round table discussions. The ambassadors are all RICS professionals who have first-hand experience of mental ill health, and now campaign for greater understanding and awareness around the subject in the property industry.

This year’s event is being sponsored by British Land, with its CEO Chris Grigg among the keynote speakers.

Other speakers include:

  • Dan Labbad - CEO Lendlease Europe 
  • Helen Gordon - CEO Grainger 
  • Bill Hughes - Head of Real Assets, Legal & General 
  • David Rowsell - Head of Community Engagement, Lloyds Bank 
  • Davina Goodchild - CEO LionHeart

·    The event is also being supported by the British Property Federation, which announced at its annual dinner in November plans to partner with the JOH Initiative and LionHeart in order to promote good mental health in the workplace.

BPF chief executive Melanie Leech said: “We continue to champion a more diverse and inclusive real estate sector. This includes creating an industry in which people who experience mental health issues feel they can speak openly and receive the support they need. We’re delighted to work with LionHeart to raise awareness of this vital issue.”

The symposium events have their roots in a very real tragedy. The first event in 2016 was held in memory of John O’Halloran FRICS, who had taken his own life the previous year, aged 63. The news had stunned his former colleagues and friends, who had no idea John had secretly struggled with depression for his whole adult life. They teamed up with John’s grown-up children to organise an awareness event for the property industry, in the hope it would encourage conversations and help others to open up if they were struggling.

LionHeart was later asked to take on the running of a wider mental health initiative in John’s name, and continues to work closely with the original organisers as a steering committee. As well as the annual symposium, the work of the project includes mental health awareness workshops and training for employees and managers and support for property industry firms to help change workplace attitudes towards mental health issues and make it easier for staff to get the help and understanding they need to remain in or return to work.

JOH 2019 Symposium: find out more 

Watch below: Rob O'Halloran speaks about his father and the origins of the JOH Intiative

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