Mental Health First Aid Services

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Are you an employer of choice, or would you like to be?

Are you an employer struggling with high sick absence?  Do you want to reduce your sick absence levels and increase productivity?

Are you an employer struggling to retain staff, even after investing in training and mentoring?

 

Do you have a workable "wellness plan" in place to support your legal and duty of care responsibilities in providing a mentally healthy working environment?

This is where I can help:

There's significant talk of, ramping up of, training up of and implementation of mental health first aiders within the workplace.  This is a real step forward in working towards reducing the stigma attached to mental health, reducing sick absence, managing stress and subsequently increasing productivity.  If done correctly this will enable the employer to become (or remain) an employer of choice, benefit from good productivity and maintain a healthy attrition rate.

Introducing or embracing mental health first aid encourages the employer and employee(s) to:

  • work together to build an understanding of need

  • build trust

  • prevent unnecessary absences

  • support those who need to take time off

  • and/or have appropriate adjustments made in the workplace

There are many training courses out there, many good training courses, offering to train staff to become mental health first aiders – again this is a good step in the right direction.  But what happens when that 'trained' mental health first aider must deal with someone who has significant mental ill health?  What happens if someone’s mental ill health is such that the mental health first aider is simply not equipped to help, or indeed begins to struggle with their own mental health as a result?  What happens to the work the newly appointed mental health first aider is now unable to carry out? 

Many businesses are finding that the redeployment of trained staff into the role of mental health first aider substantially impacts on the business and isn't achieving what it set out to.  As such the 'professional' support needs of employees with mental ill health are not met.  It can end up where the business is simply delivering some "wellness and wellbeing" sessions that no-one wants to attend, to tick a box.  

SCT Therapy- Provision

This can be to provide the full service to the business, or to support the in-house mental health first aid team in achieving their aims/objectives to meet the legal and duty of care responsibilities towards employee mental health.  Key to this is reminding and supporting employees in recognising the role they need to play in meeting their own mental health needs, and not simply relying on the employer.

As a qualified therapist I can help as follows:

  • support for those already experiencing mental ill health and support in prevention of escalating mental health issues

  • support for the mental health first aiders 

  • provide workshops, including:

    • Stress management

    • Low mood​

    • Weight management and eating habits

    • Relaxation and mindfulness

    • Wellbeing and wellness

    • Addiction and smoking cessation

  • Provide training, refresher or consolidation in mental health first aid:​

    • Understanding and implementing a mentally healthy environment (and the benefits to employer and employee​)

    • Exploring mental health

    • Understanding how to support individuals with their mental ill health

    • Benefit to business and employees

    • Developing, producing and implementing the mental health work plan

Why am I passionate about this?

I worked as a civil servant for some 30 years and mental health first aid was just being introduced a short while before I left in 2018.  Every Wednesday (aptly named Wellness Wednesday) the mental health first aiders would invite staff to attend wellness sessions, sometimes with guest speakers, and I would attend as someone who recognised the importance of such sessions and needed support with my own “stuff”.  There were probably 3 or 4 others who attended with me (of a possible 200-300 staff), one who’d lost a child to suicide and 3 others who had stress difficulties.  Although the mental health first aiders were committed to their extra responsibility, they weren’t trained in psychotherapy and counselling, and so their limitations kicked in and halted any meaningful support. 

I left the civil service, a safe and relatively secure job, because of my own experience of mental health.  I had no choice, because my needs (or the needs of my adopted children) couldn’t be met by this large public sector department.  The day I left, they lost a truly dedicated, loyal, hardworking, and committed worker.  In many ways, understandably, they couldn’t sustain my absences when I needed time to deal with my 2 adopted children and their complex trauma needs.  However, within a few months I was back on track again and in a healthier position on the mental health continuum.  

I’m sure things have moved on now and there will mental health first aiders making a real difference in their business.  More recently, I worked for a therapy service provider, which provided an exemplary service for clients.  Ironically, during the 18 months I worked there I was put onto so badly that even as a trained therapist myself, I started to feel the pressure.  A few of my colleagues were also treated badly - many of them trained and experienced therapists, counsellors, and social workers.  The company’s attrition rate was shocking at best, and I left before my own values and beliefs of how staff should be treated were compromised, as the working environment became clique and toxic!  Many who also left the company went on to suffer greatly with stress, confidence and anxiety issues.

Turning this experience into a positive, along with my profession as a therapist, I can make a difference to local and corporate businesses by helping them to meet their legal and duty of care responsibilities and incorporating British values, to provide mentally healthy working environments.  

Please get in touch to arrange a consultation.  I look forward to discussing your needs.