At the beginning of October, 2 members of staff from Bennett Christmas took the 528-mile round trip to Harrogate for 3 days to partake in the Mental Health First Aid Course (MHFA).
It was Julia Crow, HR & Development manager for the group and Alex Spinks, Assistant Manager for BC Underwriting who took the journey up to Yorkshire to gain knowledge on Mental Health in the workplace.
The purpose of this trip was to understand and gain experience in the mental health sector, in relation to the work industry.
Bennett Christmas wanted to have people certified and qualified, so it chose personnel that staff were able to approach and talk to, both having different personalities depending on what sort of issues arise.
The aim of the course was to gain knowledge to push and guide people in the right direction, whatever their situation.
Alex said, “I put myself forward for this course because mental health is an enormous part of the workplace that needs addressing.”
“We have physical first aid trainers as an essential in business, however it’s time to have the same importance put on mental health too.”
He added “We covered a lot of areas that I didn’t even realise could be an issue. We learnt things such as how to approach different kinds of people and what sort of character they might be, use the correct listening and communication techniques, unique to the situation and how to point people in the right direction which will help them.”
“The most alarming stat from the day was that Insurance is one of the most effected sectors in the UK for Mental Health.”
The BC Underwriting Assistant Manager went on to explain “This area is so important in business – I can’t stress enough how much I would recommend this to anyone who like myself, thought it would be things I was already aware of.”
“It was a real eye opener getting to understand the many different ways someone may be showing the signs of needing help and it’s something I will be taking into my day to day life – not just at work.”
Julia, who is our HR Manager said, “Mental health affects everyone, keeping well is a challenge against all the things that life throws at us.”
“We spend a lot of time at work, so it is important that support is there for everyone who needs it. Having completed this course, it has reinforced the importance of having Mental Health First Aiders is in the workplace.”
Mental health is not just a vital part of business these days, it’s people’s everyday lives. Bennett Christmas recognises the need to help each other as much as possible and by having the adequate training in house for these staff and the sharing of their learnings, its remaining staff will be able to help and support those who may struggle with one of the symptoms in the future.