We all have mental health and, just like our physical health, it needs looking after to ensure we stay well.
In February 2021, two employees at Harewood became Mental Health Champions. The aim was to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing among staff, to challenge the stigma around mental ill health, and provide peer support to colleagues.
The current statistics in the UK show that one in four people will experience mental ill health in any given year (leedsmind.org.uk). Between one in five and one in six working age adults are depressed, anxious or experiencing stress-related issues at any one time (MHFA, 2016). This demonstrates the growing need for employers to support mental health and wellbeing, just like physical health, to empower employees to thrive.
Our Mental Health Champions recently completed training to become Mental Health First Aiders in a two-day course run by Leeds Mind. The course gave our First Aiders an in-depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing, as well as the practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental ill health.
Jake Fireman, Visitor Experience Team Member and Mental Health Champion comments:
Learning about mental health first aid was a fascinating and often intense experience. It was very interesting to find out about how a mental health first aid situation can be approached and managed safely and properly in much the same way a physical first aid incident can be. The skills and knowledge I have acquired have greatly increased my confidence in handling and understanding any manner of mental health crisis, big or small, and I am proud to be a Mental Health Champion here at Harewood.
Emily Long, Visitor Experience Manager and Mental Health Champion comments:
Becoming a Mental Health First Aider has been invaluable for me as a line manager to reassure and support staff. It has enhanced my interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening and has given me the knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further support – whether that’s self-help resources, through our Employee Assistance Programme, the NHS, or a mix.
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