Thomson puts mental well-being high on agenda with new mental health first aiders
Five mental health first aiders are now in place at Thomson Environmental Consultants as part of the work they are doing to prioritise health and wellbeing in the workplace.
A mental health first aider is a trained person in the workplace that is available, with no notice, to speak with someone who may be experiencing the symptoms of mental ill health or feeling like an existing condition is worsening. Five staff across Thomson’s offices in the UK, recently underwent training with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in order to become qualified mental health first aiders. The course focuses on issues that people may face, how to recognise the symptoms and explores the best ways for people to work through and overcome them.
Sarah Stranks, Health, Safety, Quality and Environment Manager at Thomson Environmental Consultants said: “Thomson’s policy on mental health support means that staff know that they are encouraged and will be supported through any mental health issues. By having trained staff on hand, and supportive line-managers, we aim to promote wellbeing at work and support good mental health. With a relatively young workforce, we see mental health wellbeing, flexibility and work life balance as important elements of our workplace culture. The introduction of this innovative training is an important addition to the work that already goes on within the company to support work life balance and workplace flexibility.”
It is estimated that 1 in 4 people experience a mental health issue in any given year, and that 1 in 6 employees is depressed, anxious or suffering from stress related problems at any one time (Source: Labour Force Survey – Health and Safety Statistics for Great Britain. Health and Safety Executive, 2015).
Although not always apparent, mental ill health is common, and the causes are complex and unique to each person. However, we know that, in addition to other causes, work can trigger or aggravate some of these issues. MHFA have found that if people who are experiencing the early symptoms of mental ill health feel able to talk about them – particularly in the workplace – it helps prevent the problem escalating into something more serious.