HealthTrust Europe rolls out mental health first aid training for staff
- Fifth of workforce now trained as a mental health first aider
- Training provided by Birmingham Mind, HealthTrust Europe’s charity of the year
- HealthTrust Europe announces £5,000 has been raised for the charity in the first half of 2019
Employees at healthcare solutions partner HealthTrust Europe (HTE) are being trained to spot the signs and tackle the stigma of mental illness in the workplace.
The mental health first aid courses are being delivered by Birmingham Mind, the largest independent mental health charity providing services in and beyond the City of Birmingham’s boundaries. The organisation is also HTE’s chosen charity of 2019 and half-way through the year of fundraising the company’s members of staff have raised £5,000.
The initial two-day programme was offered this summer to volunteers across the business which is based in Edgbaston, Birmingham. The aim of the training was to give them the knowledge and confidence to recognise signs of mental health problems, encourage someone to seek the right help, and to reduce the stigma around mental illness. This can range from mild anxiety through to the early signs of depression and suicidal tendencies.
Helen Wadley, chief executive officer of Birmingham Mind, said: “To tackle the stigma of mental health, it is essential that industry works together to support their local communities. It is a pleasure to partner with HealthTrust Europe who are taking proactive steps to place employee wellbeing at the centre of their business and create a healthy working environment.”
“The aim of these courses is to give everyone the knowledge and confidence to recognise signs of mental health problems, encourage someone to seek the right help, and to reduce the stigma around mental illness.”
Initially senior managers anticipated eight to nine staff members would volunteer for the training but were astounded when 26 signed up. Later this year complementary training will be delivered to 35 managers across the business. The next stage will be for all staff members to attend awareness training.
Ian Hadridge, associate vice president of business solutions, said: “As a mission-driven organisation committed to the care and improvement of human life, HealthTrust Europe already delivers comprehensive first-aid training to all employees. To continue this objective and to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff remain of top priority, mental health training is the next logical step to take.
“Like many employers HealthTrust Europe offers a benefits package that provides colleagues access to free, confidential counselling should they want it. However, the new mental health training teaches colleagues to be aware of the signs of mental ill health in others, and advises staff how they can help an individual whether it is in the workplace, at home or in any other setting.”
One in four of people will have problems with their mental health at some point. These problems range from the day-to-day worries that everyone experiences to longer-term serious conditions. Common mental health problems include; anxiety, depression, post-natal depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and phobias. About one in a hundred people will experience severe mental illness.1
Each year, HTE chooses a charity partner in order to raise money and awareness for issues that are at the heart of our communities. Events this year included: a women’s boxing contest; a football match against West Midlands office technology partner, Altodigital; participating in endurance challenge, Wolf Run; and a sponsored haircutting. HTE hope to raise more money throughout the rest of the year.
1Mental Health Foundation 2015, Fundamental Facts about Mental Health, available at www.mentalhealth.org.uk