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29th March 2014 is BrainDay in Auckland. lead by the amazing Professor Richard Faull, Director for the Centre for Brain Research. This culmination of Brain Week provides an opportunity for people to hear about the latest research on the brain underway at the Centre. Here is the link to their site. 

https://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/faculty/cbr/brainweek/

As employers and directors, people are becoming better at ensuring that talented people with disabilities are welcomed into organisations and enabled to stay but I wonder if we are at the same stage of acceptance and knowledge with dealing with mental illnesses, impairments and neurological challenges.

My work in Mind Mapping and Thinking Skills keeps me reading around the topic of neurology and business. I remain fascinated and an amateur in this area. I am noticing that recently there is more coming across my browser (!) about the increasing brain plasticity changes people face in a world where Google has started to replace some of our traditional thinking skills. If we stop challenging our brains to remember things and thereby building them, because the answer is a click or swipe away, what happens if parts of our brains are impacted in any way?  Do not look to me for the answer, I just have lots of questions!

homer-brain-large

The challenge I see is that as the workforce average age increases, we need to be mindful of two things. First, making sure that we all know how to use our brains to the best of our ability; and secondly how to ensure our organisations know how to nurture and keep people with any health issue impacting the brain. We know how to keep someone working with a bad back but what about if it is the brain causing the challenges?

My recent experiences as an observer of New Zealand’s mental health services, is that we are still funding treatment of non brain physical challenges, in a more effective way than those impacting the brain. This inevitably means that employers need to be better equipped to help their good people through whatever they are facing.

If you are in Auckland Brain Day presents a great opportunity to hear from the best and see how your organisation can keep and nurture those with health issues not easily visible.

 

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