At Central Alliance (an RSK company), joint managing director Richard Pidcock recently completed MHFA England training, which is the first step towards the company establishing a structured approach to dealing with mental health issues in the workplace.
“Mental health is still something of a taboo subject, with most people being either reluctant or uncomfortable talking about it,” explains Richard. “However, as an estimated 10 million adults experience a mental health issue each year, Central Alliance is determined to take a proactive stance and play its part in removing the stigma surrounding the issue. We’ll also be encouraging our suppliers and the wider construction industry to do the same.”
In recognition of MHFA England’s goal to train 1 in 10 people in mental health first aid skills, Richard and Central Alliance will also be putting a new programme in place to train staff in mental health.
Similarly, CAN (an RSK company) has always taken mental health and wellbeing seriously and has had mental health first aiders since 2017. That training, and the understanding that mental ill health can affect anyone, came into its own when a much-loved colleague’s depression deepened, and he heartbreakingly took his life in July 2018.
“Steve Miller was only 25 years old. On the outside, he was an intelligent, funny, relaxed young man,” explains Jane Hartley, office manager at CAN. “It came as a huge shock to us all to hear the sad news. The 11 February was his birthday, so, supported by our mental health first aiders, we commemorated the day by wearing blue, chatting openly with colleagues about our own mental health and contributing to the Steven Miller Foundation, which was opened in his name to help those with mental health and domestic abuse problems.
CAN employees wore blue and discussed mental health in memory of Steve Miller
“We’re so pleased that RSK is committed to employee health and well-being. Getting the message out there that ‘it’s ok not to be ok’ is very important.”
Across the group
With this in mind, RSK has committed to have 50 trained mental health first aiders across the group by 2020. Alongside mental health first aiders, the human resources team is planning to deliver mental health awareness training to all employees. This will form part of the induction process for new employees.
For more information on mental health first aid, please visit the MHFA England website.