Dorset Chamber first in UK to Champion support for the ‘boss’

The first chamber in the UK to develop an initiative focused specifically on the mental health of business leaders, Dorset Chamber is to hold their first in-person event focused on its trailblazing ‘Got Your Six’ (GU6) resilience campaign to help hard-pressed bosses.

A recent study from BUPA Global found:
– 64% of board level executives who have experienced symptoms of mental ill-health have turned to potentially unhealthy coping mechanisms to cope.
– 78% have experienced fatigue, lack of motivation, mood swings and disturbed sleep.
– 42% believe that it would damage their reputation if it became public that they were struggling.

The issue is clearly a major concern for our economy moving forward.

The Chamber’s event will host speakers from MIND UK, local business leaders sharing their own lived experience, and some of the GU6 Champions – members of the business community who provide confidential peer support for others in times of need.

The breakfast event – ‘Meet the Champions’ – is on Friday November 12 in AFC Bournemouth’s top floor restaurant from 9am to 11am. It is free and open to all businesses in Dorset.

Ian Girling, Dorset Chamber chief executive, said: “Stress at work continues to be one of the main causes of absence from the workplace.

“But one area that has been overlooked is the mental health of business owners and senior managers who carry the weight of their companies, as well as teams, on their shoulders. There is no panic button for the boss, and no one usually asks how they are doing!”
“As part of the chamber’s health and wellbeing programme, we recognise the unique pressure our business leaders are under and have been working to build a peer support network to help them.

“Our GU6 initiative aims to normalise the conversation around the mental pressures of running a business, encourage compassionate dialogue and develop strategies that lead to great resilience in our leaders. We believe if those at the top of the organisation are in good shape, it gives the overall business and their workforces the best opportunity to thrive.”

Ian added: “As we emerge from the pandemic, this is the right time to hold our first in-person health and wellbeing event to talk about GU6 and mental health generally.

“I would encourage any business people to attend so we can together address this very important issue and have open conversations about the need for openness and peer support.”

The term ‘got your six’ derives from fighter pilots who protected the ‘backs’ of fellow pilots in formation at the vulnerable rear position, based on the position of the hands of a clock.

Dorset Chamber is the county’s leading business support organisation.

Its GU6 initiative is supported by sponsor Lester Aldridge and facilitated by Ouch Training and Dorset Mind.

Visit to sign up for the event and for more information about GU6.

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