Supporting the mental health of our staff
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week.
Did you know, between 2016 – 2017 there were 12.5 million working days lost across all UK workplaces due to mental health related illness?
That figure really brings home how real an issue mental health is. It also shows how important it is to have ways of accessing support at work, and the right guidance in place to do this.
Many employers have support networks in place and Brandon is no different. I’m proud to volunteer as one of 12 mental health first aiders across the organisation. We act as a confidential first point of contact for any member of staff experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress.
We’re trained to provide initial support to staff and help sign-post them to other avenues of help if needed. Sometimes though, just having someone else to listen to you and provide a supportive voice is enough to help. If someone needs more support, we can signpost them to a range of services including our 24/7 Employee Assistance Line or GP Consultation Service. It’s important to remember though, that these services are always available directly to all staff, as well as a host of other benefits. Staff can find full details on the Brandon Intranet Benefits pages - the contact details of all our mental health first aiders are here too.
Of course, the other first point of contact when someone is struggling at work is often their manager. As part of an exciting re-work of our leadership programme, we’re helping to equip managers with the necessary skills and training in helping staff, and making sure that managers are fully supported themselves.
There’s lots of great public activities and awareness campaigns happening as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. If you’re interested in finding out more, I’d recommend searching online, or feel free to get in touch!