Investing in employee well-being:
A shared responsibility
13th May 2021
According to mental health charity, Mind*, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. And alarmingly, the overall number of people reporting mental health problems has been going up in recent years.
With the coronavirus pandemic causing exceptionally challenging and worrying times for us all, it comes as no surprise that increased loneliness, boredom, and restrictions on seeing people are having a profound impact on the mental health of young people and adults**.
At Datel, employee wellbeing is something we take seriously. With our employees all working from home at the moment in the midst of the pandemic, we feel it is now more important than ever to offer a variety of well-being services to everyone at Datel.
That’s why we were delighted to recently take advantage of the opportunity from Westfield Health, our employee private health care provider, to train up 5 of our team members as Mental Health Supporters. These Mental Health Supporters are able to act as a confidential point of contact for employees experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress, and have been trained to offer their peers initial support and signpost them to appropriate help if required.
We spoke with one of our employees who took part in the scheme, Sarah Dennis, to learn more about her recent experience in becoming a Mental Health Supporter:
What motivated you to take part in the scheme and become a Mental Health Supporter?
“I was really encouraged to hear that Datel were offering employees the opportunity to attend an MHFA course. I feel it's so important, now more than ever to support mental health in the workplace, particularly with the unprecedented changes happening in the world.
I know first hand how helpful it's been to have had the support of my Manager and colleagues during difficult times, and I’m now at the point where I am in a positive place to offer similar support if ever needed.
We all experience highs and lows in terms of mental health, and just like physical health, it needs to be looked after.”
Can you tell us a bit about the training process?
“The course took place over four live online sessions across a two week period. It was pretty intense, covering common mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. We also learned how to help a person that may be in a suicidal crisis.
In addition to these sessions, individual learning work was set and needed to be completed before each live session. This individual learning included watching video case studies, reading assignments, and completing follow-up test questions.
Although a lot of subjects were difficult to learn about, I actually enjoyed the whole process and have learnt so much about Mental Health and the different types of treatment and support that are available.”
How do you think this scheme will impact employee well-being here at Datel?
“The 5 of us are available to listen to any of our colleagues who feel they are in need of support or are experiencing emotional distress. We will be respectful, non-judgemental, and will never make assumptions.
I believe knowing that there is the option to call on one of us for a listening ear and guidance where applicable will have a significant positive impact on employee mental well-being.”
We’re delighted that Sarah had such a positive experience on the Mental Health Supporter training programme, and we’re pleased to announce that we will be expanding the Mental Health Supporters team, training more employees later on this year.
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