Bristol Energy are taking steps to support the mental wellbeing of their staff through an internal scheme that aims to end mental health stigmatisation for good.
Eight employees volunteered to be trained as mental health first aiders, acting as a non-judgemental and confidential touch points for those seeking help and support within the organisation.
This initiative kicks off around the time of Mental Health Awareness Week, which this year has stress as its focus. Research has shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes and stress can be a key factor in this. In 2016/17, 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.1
“Being such a small company, I just think it’s fantastic that we are investing the time in doing the right thing” Said Charlotte, one of the mental health first aiders.
“Hopefully this scheme will normalise the fact that, sometimes, everyone needs to have a chat about how they’re feeling.”
The first aiders have been trained to provide support for colleagues experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-harm and psychotic disorders, which can be discussed face to face, over the phone or via email.
“We all know how to look after ourselves physically, but we don’t necessarily know how to look after our mental health.” Said Ollie, another first aider at Bristol Energy. “People don’t always have the tools to recognise the symptoms and know how to deal with them. This is what has to change.”