Mindful Employer Network to stage Asperger Syndrome awareness seminar

October 21, 2013

Businesses can gain an invaluable insight into the mental health issues associated with Asperger Syndrome at an awareness session staged by the Swindon Mindful Employer Network next month.

Asperger Syndrome, part of the autistic spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders, is characterised by difficulties in social interaction and non-verbal communication, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour and interests.

The disorder is increasingly being recognised in the workplace and many local firms are eager to ensure they are up to date with the latest thinking so they can help staff affected by it.

Richmond Fellowship’s David Latham, who manages the Swindon Mindful Employer Network, said: “We are aware that interest in Asperger Syndrome is increasing and employers are coming to us with regard to mental health issues which very often go hand- in- hand with the disorder.”

A number of major Swindon employers are support the initiative which is being hosted by the town’s Jurys Inn.

Guest speakers include Sue Smith, professional autism lead and Ann King, supported employment project manager, both from Swindon-based health and social care social enterprise SEQOL.

Also contributing will be Mark Lever of the National Autistic Society and Lisa Monis of Richmond Fellowship Work Life. 

The event will be hosted by Melanie Richens, chair of the Swindon Mindful Employer Network and special guest is Cormac MacMahon, news editor at Heart FM.

Sue Smith of SEQOL said: “We frequently see an association between Asperger Syndrome and mental health problems at work – very often during periods of change. This awareness session is a really effective opportunity for employers to appreciate how widespread the disorder is and the implications this may have for their businesses.”

Jurys Inn Swindon general manager Paul Clifford added: “Jurys Inn completely understands the value of a supportive and positive employer. Looking after our people and helping to maintain their mental and physical resilience is vital to our business and to providing an excellent service to our customers. 

“We are once again pleased to welcome the Swindon Mindful Employer Network and look forward to long and successful association with their activities’.

This awareness session takes place on November 19. Attendance is free for representatives of employers in the Swindon area and booking is essential.

For further information phone 01793 433571 or email smen@richmondfellowship.org.uk


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