You are here

Supporting Mental Health in a Virtual Workplace

Wednesday 3 March 2021 12:00 - 13:30

COVID-19 has seen a marked increase in mental health issues. We all have mental health and poor mental health has serious consequences for individuals and our workplaces, with it costing UK businesses £33-42 billion annually.

This presentation will provide practical advice on how to look after our own mental wellbeing while working remotely. It will include what we can do to support those around us and ideas for ways to support our teams during the current situation. Finally, we will look ahead to the effects that being able to return to the office can have on our mental health and how we can prepare for that.     

Webinar Chair

Kathryn Knowles, IFoA Mental Health Working Party

Kathryn Knowles is a specialist insurance adviser known for insuring the uninsurable. Spurred on by her own experience of facing barriers to insurance, she has built a company dedicated to improving access to insurance. She regularly provides videos and podcasts, demonstrating case studies of arranging insurance for ‘high risk’ people. She is known for her work in supporting clients with mental health conditions, by challenging industry mindsets of how to assess people in today's society. 



Gwen Robertson, NHS Scotland 

Gwen is an accredited Mental Health First Aid trainer for Adult and Young Persons. Gwen also has extensive experience delivering bespoke training across Scotland in mental health, NHS/Public Health Scotland - Healthy Working Lives, SCQF Mental Health First Aid Level 4, 5 & 6 and challenging behavioural courses that support people working with children and young adults who have additional support needs. She is passionate about being pro-active and making change for the better and recently qualified as a Scottish Government Quality Improvement leader. 

Lisa Balboa, Deputy Chair, IFoA Mental Health working party

Lisa Balboa is a Business Development Actuary at Hannover Re UK Life Branch. She is passionate about promoting access to protection insurance and supports clients in developing innovative new products that provide clear value to the broadest possible cross-section of society. Lisa is Deputy Chair of the IFoA’s Mental Health Working Party, championing increased awareness and understanding of mental health amongst actuaries and insurance professionals.

John is an External Member of the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Committee. He is also Chairperson of the Scottish Financial Risk Academy Group, a collaborative venture between industry and academia on a range of risk topics, including climate and cyber risks.

He is particularly interested in technology in financial services and recently helped create a fintech product to deliver financial advice to consumers. He has championed the greater adoption of data science and artificial intelligence by the actuarial profession. 

Previously, John held several senior leadership roles in the long-term savings industry. These included: Partner at Hymans Robertson (2014-20), Managing Director at NEST, Customer & Proposition (2013 – 2014), Marketing Director at Lloyds Banking Group (2007 – 2012) and various director roles at Standard Life (1994-2007).

John holds a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate from the University of Glasgow as well as post-graduate diploma from Heriot Watt University.

Event organiser

Contact Events Team for more information.

0207 632 1498

Chair’s welcome – Kathryn Knowles, IFoA Mental Health WP 12.00 – 12.10


Gwen Robertson, NHS Scotland
Lisa Balboa, Deputy Chair, IFoA Mental Health WP

12.10 – 12.40


John Taylor, Immediate Past President – sharing his own experience

Kathryn Knowles – sharing her own experience 

12.40 – 13.00
Q&A 13.00 – 13.30