One in five British workers are estimated to experience mental health issues, with almost half of the nation’s workforce admitting that they’d be unlikely to discuss such problems with their boss, according to a Comres survey.
As a business, we feel it’s important to discuss how mental wellbeing needs to be placed at the centre of a company’s culture. We want our staff to feel comfortable opening up to a colleague about their experiences and never feel as if they’re facing their problems alone.
It’s imperative to us that we give staff the chance to take a break and get involved in activities that support their personal welfare and growth. We offer staff the opportunity to participate in two volunteer days, in addition to their annual leave, to get away from their desk, Reception or maintenance based jobs and work alongside a charity of their choice.
However, mental health issues aren’t something that can be tackled in the space of two days or an awareness week. So, as a continuation of a resident-facing mental health pilot scheme, we are upskilling our staff to become Mental Health First Aiders.
Mental Health First Aiders will be trained to spot when a colleague may not be feeling themselves, know how to support them and receive assistance themselves in approaching these delicate situations.
Teaming up with our charity partner Rethink Mental Illness we will be supporting residents and staff alike with their experiences of mental health. Aiming to have our Mental Health First Aiders in place across the UK by September 2017, we will strive to challenge mental health stigma and take steps towards improved mental healthcare.
The training scheme will run alongside our day-to-day wellbeing activities that have been regular fixtures over the past year. De-stressing activities have included colour-in artwork on the walls of our Village Central Manchester office, visits from Guide Dogs UK to villages around the country and guest talks that discuss changing our perspective on workplace mental health.
Julie Haughey, HR Director, Campus Living Villages said, “We want to ensure a mentally healthy workplace. Part of this is opening up conversations about mental health. It’s really important to us that we have people across the business keeping these conversations going, checking in on people who they’re concerned about and encouraging those who need help to ask for it. We’ve partnered with Rethink Mental Illness who will deliver two-day Mental Health First Aid training to ensure that our Mental Health First Aiders feel confident and supported in looking out for their colleagues.”