Ahead of this year’s World Mental Health Day (Thursday 10th October), managers from across the Star business took part in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), training to equip them with the knowledge and confidence to provide mental health support at work.
Managers from Star’s various teams including leadership, HR, recruitment and finance attended the two-day course run by Beacon Learning and Performance Ltd Director, Amanda Jackson, to complete the MHFA qualification – understanding how to become more in tune with what is needed to recognise mental ill health within their teams, and to help them find the support they need.
Star have partnered with Amanda and Beacon Learning and Performance Ltd previously, dedicating half of our 2018 Annual General Meeting to recognising the importance of mental health and our responsibilities as an employer.
According to mental health charity, Mind, one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year, and a 2018 joint survey by The Mental Health Foundation and YouGov found that 74% of respondents have felt unable to cope with stress, 51% reported feeling depressed, and 37% said they felt lonely as a result of stress*.
The Mental Health First Aid initiative aims to make mental health a part of everyday life and enable people to look after their own and other people’s wellbeing. Star managers learnt about the most common mental illnesses, where to signpost for support, and how to have positive conversations around mental health.
Star HR Business Partner, Natalie Bassett, said: “We want to create an environment in which our colleagues can have open and honest conversations about mental health.
“This also makes sense from a business perspective. 91 million work days are lost to mental health illnesses in the UK*, and if we can have those conversations before someone feels too unwell to come to work, or even worse, comes to work while they are really struggling, then not only are we staying true to our Star values, but we are also getting the best out of our teams, ensuring they are happy and healthy at work.”
The course also gave everyone attending an opportunity to share their own mental health experiences and break down some of the stereotypes surrounding mental illness.
*Adult MHFA Manual, 2016