Mental Health Awareness Week

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May 14th marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, and as signatories to the Mindful Employer Charter that aims to promote and support better mental health in the workplace, we have shown a commitment to having a positive approach, caring for one another and improving things for everyone in our Family.

Pledging support is all very well, but what practical steps can a business take to encourage a more positive, open and progressive atmosphere for all?

One thing we did was undertake Mental Health First Aid training- time well spent, given that stress, depression, or long term psychological issues affect workplaces more than we can truly know. It’s assessed that mental ill health costs employers a staggering £34.9 billion every year. If a faulty machine was costing a business serious money, resources would be committed to fix it- so why do some businesses continue to ignore it when people need the same TLC?

Cultural Director Niki McGrane was first to attend this training back in 2014.

“Mental Health First Aid remains one of the best courses I ever attended. It gave me a great toolkit to support better conversations with colleagues, and spot if someone is struggling.

The openness around mental health among fellow delegates was amazing and inspiring. As we talked, more stories emerged that showed that we need to be unafraid if we are to break the stigma that still surrounds this issue. It costs us so much- so many lives are affected, damaged or even lost every year because of a lack of time, compassion, understanding or awareness in the workplace. 

MHFA training isn’t just a lot of talking or ‘fluffy’ at all – it’s one of the toughest courses I have ever been on, but so rewarding. Every business should invest in it if they truly believe that their people are an asset. Stop hiding from the issue and get people trained. It makes a real difference.”

This year, Mental Health Awareness Week is focusing on stress- a key cause of workplace absence and heartache. It’s a good idea to be mindful of what level of stress we are under- then plan to manage it better.

Take the Stress Test.

Read more about how MHFA changes lives here.

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