Health and Wellbeing Special Interest Group: A vision

Health and Wellbeing Special Interest Group: A vision

healthy seashore

Dr Andrew Parsons, an EMCC accredited coach/mentor at Master Practitioner Level, introduces a new EMCC UK Special Interest Group which will focus on health and wellbeing issues for coaches, mentors and supervisors.

My initial idea for the Health and Wellbeing Special Interest Group was to create a platform for exchanging knowledge and experience. One of my first tasks was to ask the EMCC UK membership for input regarding the areas of interest for the group. Three main areas of focus were suggested:

1. Individual members working in the area of health and wellbeing
2. Organisations with proactive interest in supporting the health and wellbeing of their employees
3. Organisations operating in the health sector to support employees and deliver services

We asked members to highlight which areas they felt were important. They expressed interest in all three areas, with a slight preference for items 1 and 2. A number of members also volunteered time over December 2020 to February 2021 to develop the charter for the group (outlined below).


Our aim is to develop the safe practice of health and wellbeing for coaches and mentors, their clients, organisations and communities. We plan to achieve our vision through regular meetings and working groups.

Regular meetings to share to wider populations:

Webinars and workshops
Knowledge exchange 
Supporting the EMCC UK Board to represent members in the development of coaching in health and wellbeing

Initial Themes / Working Groups:

Self-care for coaches and mentors
Developing thought leadership and resources
Best practice

We aim to review the initiative after 12 months.

Members have also volunteered significant time to develop content in the prioritised work streams. Additional topics, such as coaching with children, may also be included as we progress.

As a group we are developing ideas and resources for the membership. Already we have identified a range of webinars from focus group members and colleagues, and we hosted a session, ‘Coaching and mentoring in support of cancer patients and their families’ with Anne Pike on 12 March.

Upcoming events

We have the following events planned:

Taking care of ourselves, on 20 May, with Professor Sarah Corrie. Sarah will be introducing us to the Health Awareness Tool, as a means of helping us, as coaches, to develop greater self-awareness of our wellbeing needs, and formulate individually tailored approaches to self-care. Book here

Free Knowledge Exchange panel discussion: Spotlight on health, on 27 May, with Anne Pike, Sarah Corrie, Ali Morgan and Monika Misra. We’ll be explore the role of coaching and mentoring in support of health and wellbeing for individuals and communities, in this panel discussion chaired by me and Hannah Butler. Book here

Coaching to empower long-term unemployed adults, on 24 June, with Ceylan Thompson. Ceylan will be sharing her experience of coaching in a variety of settings, including support for the long term unemployed. Book here

Coaching and social prescribing, on 22 July, with Andrea Dixon. Andrea will discuss the potential role for coaching and mentoring in social prescribing. More details on this event soon.

We aim to add to the list of events and resources over the year. So please stay tuned to the EMCC UK events page.

Developing practice in health and wellbeing

I would also like to thank the focus group for helping generate some really great ideas to support EMCC members. To realise our vision, our focus is to support coaches and mentors develop the confidence, skills and competencies to embrace working with health and wellbeing.

My own practice has certainly developed in these areas. I began professional coaching as an Internal JobPlus coach at GlaxoSmithKline. As a business leader I could really see the impact of personal development on human wellbeing and performance.

As an independent professional coach/mentor and supervisor, I have been involved in programmes supporting people in a wide range of circumstances including those impacted by cancer and neurodegenerative disease. I have worked with people from diagnosis, through treatment to living with and beyond their condition. I also have roles supporting peer practice groups for the Special Group in Coaching Psychology (British Psychological Society) and the Multi-Cultural Committee for the National Wellness Institute (NWI), based in the USA.

In these roles, the definition of wellness by the NWI is one that resonates with me. The NWI defines wellness as an active process by which people become more aware of making active choices towards a successful existence.

In my practice, I have the opportunities to support people make those choices in a range of situations and contexts. This includes supporting senior leaders in organisations to those impacted by illness and at the end of their life. The feeling of empowerment is central to the human experience in all these situations enabling people to be at their best.

I believe that a common theme for all coaches, mentors, leaders and wellness professionals is to support people to grow and adapt to their situation to create a more successful life across the NWI’s six dimensions of wellness. These are the emotional, intellectual, spiritual, physical, social and occupational. It is interesting to note that even finding solutions to reaching business goals can impact positively on wellbeing.

My hope is that the EMCC UK Health and Wellbeing Special Interest Group can contribute to creating a community of health and wellbeing in all aspects of society.

I would also like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Special Interest Group and those who are developing ideas and content. Please come along and join the discussion. You will be very welcome.


Many thanks to the focus group team:

Ali Bond, Ana Paula Nacif, Jackie Arnold, Caroline Anthony, Carolyn Ellesmere, Andrea Dixon, Fabiana Memmolo, Imogen Maresch, Jen Smollett, Jo Twiselton, Aga Kehinde, Chris Marren, Martin Grady, Naomi Elton, Nova Ferguson, Sarah Corrie, Fiona Stimson, Ceylan Thompson, Vivienne van Someran and Wendy Teo

Sources and further information

Parsons, Jackson & Arnold (eds, 2021). Empowerment in Health and Wellness. Panoma Press, St Albans, UK
National Board for Health and Wellness Coaches
National Wellness Institute
Special Group in Coaching Psychology

Photo: Joshua Earle