• 30 Aug 2023
  • In-person

IoD NI Mental health in leadership breakfast

IoD members are invited to join us at Inspire Wellbeing's office as we focus on the importance of Mental Health in Leadership positions.

Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress can have a significant impact on your work performance. These conditions can lead to difficulties concentrating, low motivation levels, and decreased productivity.

  • 1 in 6 in the UK will experience a common mental health problem
  • Women are twice as likely as men to experience anxiety or depression
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 20-34 years old.
  • Rates of depression have doubled during the last 2 years
  • The rate of anxiety has increased by 50% in the last 2 years

This session will focus on how leaders can prioritise their own mental health whilst looking after employees and the wider organisation. 


Alex Bunting

Alex started his career in the Private Sector working for a large Engineering Company on significant International engineering projects. In 2004 having returned to Northern Ireland following work in the USA Alex volunteered to work for a local charity focused on supporting young people and adults impacted by substance misuse and poor mental health. After Alex secured a role working for the Forum For Action on Substance Abuse, starting in the role as Head of Training before being promoted to the Senior Management Team as Head of Corporate and Community Services.

In 2016 Alex joined Addiction NI as Head of Project for a workplace programme aimed at addressing the impact of alcohol in workplaces across the region. In 2020 Alex became Group Director of Mental Health & Addiction Services for Inspire helping develop new and innovative support services for service users focused on reducing harm and promoting recovery.

Kerry Anthony MBE

Kerry has worked in the third sector for over 25 years, 15 of those as a Chief Executive Officer. An expert in organisational governance, structure and strategy, Kerry has led on transformation projects in a number of large, complex organisations both nationally and internationally. As a values led leader Kerry believes that positive relationships and communication make organisations thrive.

With a strong commitment to social justice and service user led delivery Kerry has been a high profile voice for organisations working on some of the most pressing and complex social issues facing society today. Kerry’s combination of service based expertise and authentic communication and leadership skills mean she is regular commentator to the media and acts as an advisor to policy makers at both local and national levels.

Kerry is currently the Chief Executive of Inspire, an all-island charity and social enterprise working with people living with mental ill health, addictions and intellectual disability. She joined the organisation in August 2019 following 14 years with the Depaul an all island and international charity supporting people experiencing homelessness. She is a qualified social worker, and holds a Masters in Voluntary Sector Management.

Kerry is a Trustee of Tuath Housing Association, chairing the Governance and People Committee, and was previously a member of the Board of Governors of All Hallows College in Dublin and a Trustee of Co3 in Northern Ireland, holding the position of Chair from 2015-2017.

Kerry has been the recipient of a number of awards, receiving an MBE in 2010 in recognition of her services to Housing and Homelessness. She was delighted to be awarded Third Sector Leader by the Institute of Directors in December 2021.

Lisa McLaughlin

Lisa is the Managing Partner of Herbert Smith Freehills' (HSF) Belfast office. She also leads HSF's Alternative Legal Services (ALT)'s Transactions teams across UK & EMEA and ALT's teams in South Africa and China.

After completing a Law Degree at Queen's University Belfast, Lisa completed a training contract with Herbert Smith in London, before qualifying into the firm's International Arbitration group. During the legal practice phase of her career, Lisa acted on a number of complex, high-value arbitration matters, as well as commercial litigation and expert determination disputes.

In 2011, after a decade in London, Lisa moved home to Northern Ireland and was integrally involved in the launch of the firm's office in Belfast - as the first near-shore offering of any major international law firm, and the first of the firm's ALT hubs. As part of ALT’s evolution, Lisa was also responsible for launching ALT's market-leading Johannesburg team in 2017.

In 2019, Lisa was named International Director of the Year at the Institute of Directors NI 'Director of the Year' Awards. And in 2023, Lisa was included in The Lawyer's Hot100 where she was acknowledged for being one of the first people to put Belfast on the map for major legal services and providing extensive opportunities and development in Belfast for legal and business graduates.

Lisa actively champions transparent conversations about wellbeing and all aspects of mental health. She is a longstanding champion of HSF's Mental Health & Wellbeing network and regularly draws on her own personal experience to help destigmatise mental health issues. Through active leadership, Lisa creates a culture that promotes dialogue, enabling colleagues to discuss mental health challenges openly in the workplace.

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