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How PMOs can help with the mental health and wellbeing of project delivery teams webinar

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Project delivery is a high-pressure environment. Can a PMO help to minimise, identify and mitigate the stress and mental health impacts on individuals and teams?

One common thread through project and programme delivery is the relentless pressure to deliver outcomes and benefits to the agreed time, cost and quality constraints. However, a number of problems can crank up this pressure even further - demanding timescales, lack of resources, information overload, changing requirements, lack of stakeholder engagement, and a constantly changing political environment (think Brexit!).

Even someone with a good level of mental health and wellbeing can find this hard to cope with – but they can easily slip into stress as a result, which leads to poor performance and possibly more serious issues. Then there could be other people on the team who are already suffering from stress due to other situations and events external to the project, such as illness, bereavement, divorce, or financial problems. Piling on the pressure to deliver the project could make these people even worse.

In this webinar we will talk about how the PMO – who may have regular interaction with all the delivery teams in an organisation – are well placed to spot and help people who may be experiencing mental health issues.

We will show how the PMO can (and should) help to identify, minimise and mitigate the impacts on individuals and teams in a number of ways including:

  • Proactive trouble shooting on projects and management support by walking around, listening, and looking a project performance data for tell-tale signs of people in trouble
  • Building awareness of mental health and provide tips on enhancing wellbeing amongst the project community
  • Building a community of mutual support and practice


Patrick Scott and Mike Belch

Patrick Scott
YoungMinds as their Head of PMO, having started the function from scratch in May 2018. YoungMinds fights for children and young people’s mental health and runs a variety of projects as well as policy and campaigns work. He’s a strong mental health professional, having previously worked at Mind, leading a number of innovative programmes to support and develop the fantastic circa 140 network of local Mind organisations around England and Wales. He’s also volunteered for Rethink Mental Illness, as an Advocate, working on behalf of people with mental health problems to support their needs and fight their corner.

Patrick joined the APM PMO SIG committee last year as a volunteer (which has been great for meeting other PMO, programme and project professionals, networking and finding out new insights); and volunteering is something he’s passionate about, having previously led volunteering engagement programmes such as the drive to recruit thousands of London Ambassador volunteers for the 2012 Olympic Games with Volunteering England.


Mike Belch
Mike is an associate director at consulting firm RSM UK. He provides advice on setting up, improving and managing PMOs; and provides assurance for organisations delivering large transformation and infrastructure programmes. He has managed PMOs and provided assistance in areas as diverse as nuclear decommissioning, military air traffic control, social housing, railway rolling stock refurbishment, border security, mobile telecommunications, and even the 'Boris Bikes' cycle hire scheme in London. Mike has been an active member of the PMO community, including the APM PMO SIG, for a number of years.

This webinar is suitable for professionals with an intermediate level of experience.


Patrick and Scott have very kindly allowed their presented material to be made available for viewing.


The slides on Slideshare and the webinar recording on YouTube is now available in our APM resources area and also embedded below for reference.



During the presentation, Mike Belch gave a personal recommendation of two books:

- Adrenaline Junkies and Serotonin Seekers: Balance Your Brain Chemistry to Maximize Energy, Stamina, Mental Sharpness, and Emotional Well-Being

- Stress and how to avoid it


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