The team at This Can Happen has been seeking out fascinating and insightful individuals to offer wisdom and ideas at the conference in November. From all walks of work and life, every single confirmed speaker brings unique knowledge, thinking and strategizing to the corporate mental health sphere.
Professor Greenberg is a consultant academic psychiatrist at King’s College London. He served in the Armed Forces for over 23 years and worked in highly stressful situations in hostile environments including Afghanistan and Iraq. His understanding of stress in the workplace is built on high level academic work coupled with intensive real life experience of being part of a team in conflict zones.
Neil is committed to improving the way we work together with a focus on the way inter-colleague relationships can foster healthy working environments. He runs March on Stress, a psychological health consultancy which aims to promote better mental health within organisations.
He spoke to us about his journey and his work.
Q. How important is the support of colleagues in the workplace?
A. We know that social support is one of the most important factors determining how people cope with adversity. As such collegial support is a vital element of any organisational resilience programme
Q. How has your experience with the armed forces reinforced the need for peer support?
A. Having helped develop peer support programmes within the Armed Forces over the last 20 years, I am convinced that they are an important way to ensure that staff who are finding it difficult to cope with challenging experiences are able discuss their difficulties and be helped to access the right support if they need it.
Q. How do stress levels of working life in the Army compare to a career in a large corporate?
A. Perhaps surprisingly the main sources of stress within the Army [or indeed the Armed Forces as whole] are not dissimilar to those found in civilian life. Many sailors, soldiers and airforce personnel find that the pressures of day to day life are the most impactful on their mental health. Thankfully, whilst trauma is common on the films, in most service personnel’s lives, it does not feature heavily and where it does personnel are well trained to deal with it.
Q. In your opinion, are corporate leaders in the UK doing enough to combat mental health struggles within their staff?
A. There’s always more that can be done. However, I think we have experienced, and continue to experience, a substantial shift in employer’s attitudes towards mental health problems. There’s a long way to go and there’s a danger of getting sucked in to any one programme or initiative as being ‘the answer to all our problems’ but there’s no doubt the path we are travelling along is a mostly positive one.
Read more about Neil and the other incredible speakers confirmed for This Can Happen so far. We are booking new speakers every week, so keep your eye on this page!