One in four of us will suffer from a mental health issue at some point and for many of us work is an important part of our lives, contributing to positive mental health and general wellbeing. However, sometimes things can get on top of us and too often mental health problems are treated as a taboo subject – something not to be talked about, especially at work…. but that’s something that we at Babcock are aiming to change.
By teaming up with mental health charities SeeMe Scotland and the Hope Café, Babcock provided its employees with the opportunity to attend a series of workshops and awareness training on mental health during the course of last year, to change attitudes toward mental health and mental illness.
To start with, a series of ‘Bun and Blether’ (or ‘Tea & Chat’) workshops were delivered to 126 employees by a trained coordinator with personal experience of mental health. The ‘Bun and Blether’ workshops were aimed at increasing awareness of mental health and reducing the stigma and discrimination that can surround mental health.
The suicide alertness workshops “SafeTALK” provided our employees with the tools to recognise a person with thoughts of suicide and connect them with vital resources to help them in choosing to live. The Mental Health First Aid (also accredited by the NHS) was a two-day initial responder training course that provided training to employees on how to assist someone in distress and support them until other suitable or professional help can be found. We now have 26 employees fully qualified as mental health first aiders.
Feedback from participants:
“Brilliant delivery from a knowledgeable, enterprising whizz. Sharing real stories is so effective.”
“The course was by far the best I have ever attended as the information provided and the course presenter was very interesting and engaging.”
“These workshops should be mandatory.”
In addition to these workshops, Babcock has been supporting the SeeMe Scotland “Pass the Badge” campaign inviting people to wear a See Me Badge for a day and pass it on to someone else to wear for the next 24 hours, initiating conversations on mental health.
The commitment made by Babcock towards mental health further inspired one of our teams in the West, Wales and Wessex area to host a Five-a-Side football tournament with colleagues from our supply chain. A substantial amount of money raised from this event was donated to the mental health charity Bristol Minds.
By choosing to be open about mental health, Babcock is part of a movement that is changing the conversation around mental health, creating healthier workplaces and ensuring that no one is made to feel isolated or alone at work and at home for having a mental health problem.
For more information, contact Lynsey on firstname.lastname@example.org