The first step that every organisation must take is to train a group of staff as Mental Health First Aiders who team members can confide in if they feel the need to do so. They are trained to identify the symptoms of potential mental health breakdown, to listen acutely and persuade those in difficulty that there is no shame in admitting that they have a problem and in starting to deal with it.
Once Mental Health First Aiders have been trained, the team must be made aware of who they are and given the confidence to know that they can talk to them completely confidentially at any time and that they will gain support and help by doing so.
Here at Wyboston Lakes Resort, we have had a small team of Mental Health First Aiders over the past few years, we are taking our next step. Working with Illuminate VR we are rolling out an Awareness Programme starting with the senior management team. This will be followed by Awareness Workshops held for all managers so they can identify the signs that someone may need help and support them if need be. Once these workshops have been completed, we are training a further 10 people to become Mental Health First Aiders.
In addition to supporting the team with their mental health, we are working to establish a wellness culture within the business through the introduction of various different activities, learning bites and commitments which team members can get involved in. By doing this we are hoping to support the team with their physical health and wellbeing as well as their mental health as they are all inter-connected. We are also looking at how we can raise awareness of how important it is to look after your own wellbeing whether that is mental or physical health or just encouraging a better work-life balance.
Mental health is an undoubtedly major issue in this industry in particular. It’s great that the HBAA, one of our leading industry associations has embarked on a year-long campaign to address it with a series of activities. They include courses for Mental Health First Aiders and this week, a special event, of which we are one of the sponsors, with an impressive and inspiring keynote speaker Vikie Shanks to raise awareness and funds for more courses,
It is our responsibility as employers to ensure we provide a safe, healthy working environment for all of our team and support them to maintain their physical and mental health. The rising wave of publicity about mental health is very welcome.