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May 26, 2020

Mental health awareness week is no gimmick

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By Ella Bowman, Paws in Work Mental Health blogger

Following on from the success of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, here we provide some insights into why Mental Health Initiatives help businesses tick and we tell you all about our new Mental Health First Aid Training.

Every year Mental Health Awareness Week provides easy wins for companies interested in good culture and employee retention. We’re better together, as the saying goes, and not only do teams around the UK benefit as a whole, but the week itself provides the perfect excuse to try out activities that are aimed at boosting morale without feeling like you’re going out on a limb. Companies around the UK followed suit last week, with some fantastic efforts in showing employees that they truly care.

mental health support keeps teams buoyant under pressure.

Living in any sort of stress and uncertainty, whether that’s about the health of yourself and your loved ones; or worrying about your job and your responsibilities, is not only exhausting but can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, amongst other health problems. By ensuring that you support your team through their life stages and happenings, you will increase loyalty, purpose and motivation but also improve their health. Bye-bye absenteeism.

psychological safety is key to better performance.

In case the case for a supportive environment hasn’t already been made, Google coordinated a psychological safety experiment, which proved that psychological safety, a fully integrated approach to mental wellbeing in the workplace over, say, nodding to awareness without actually embodying it, improved teams’ performances by a whopping 17%. Great, but where to begin?

how to support teams with their mental health.

Recognising and rewarding compassion in the workplace is an excellent way to encourage a positive culture, as a start. In the long-run, though, it’s important that it’s embedded into the way you operate across the entire business. Whether that’s hiring based on emotional intelligence and mental health awareness, particularly in line manager roles, or signposting support hotlines and company initiatives, it helps.

our new mental health training.

Another way to demonstrate care for your team is to ensure you have some Mental Health Champions or First Aiders on staff: much like Fire Wardens, you can provide the relevant training for elected team members to help ensure the safety of their colleagues. Providing your team with essential mental health awareness, we at Paws in Work are chuffed to be launching our MHFA-accredited Mental Health Training that is fun, warm and authoritative. Working closely on our pillar of supporting mental health in the workplace, our virtual training has come at a perfect time, when people need it most.

‘mental health support takes time, though, doesn’t it?’

This is something easy to debunk. First of all, the time you save in managing unnecessary escalations in poor mental wellbeing, whether for the individual or for the wider team, makes up for the time invested in mental health support. Equally, you don’t need to retrain a workforce in psychiatry: with Paws in Work Mental Health Training you can provide awareness and certification to three different levels in under two days, each equipping delegates with different levels of practical tools to help support their colleagues.

  • become mental health aware - (virtual course) 4 hours in 1 day, or 2 hours each day for 2 days.
  • become a mental health champion - at your offices 1 day course, duration: 7 hours (approx.)
  • become a mental health first aider - at your offices 2 day course, duration: 7 hours (approx.) per day.

With these courses you get specialist training from one of our qualified MHFA England instructors. Take Jo-Anna Sell, whose experience and certifications mean that you’ll get the kind of best-in-class teaching to put your team in good stead. This, whether they are steeling themselves against the global pandemic (in which case the virtual course is perfect), or wanting to be an ongoing support to their wider team.

‘mental health training is probably really expensive’.

First of all, we offer extremely competitive pricing on our training that we’re sure will have a tangible ROI both in terms of improved office wellbeing but also in terms of attracting and retaining staff. And if ROI has your interest piqued, then there’s also the government’s ‘Thriving at Work’ report, which outlines the significant return for those employers that invest in mental health interventions… an average of £4.20 for every £1 spent (with the range going up to £9).

To find out more about Paws in Work MHFA training, get in touch via our site, or send us a message on social media (we’re on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram -- come say hello!)

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