Qualifying as mental health first aiders
In the last few months, colleagues across the RSK family of businesses have been awarded mental health first aider qualifications following specialist training from MHFA England.
The course provided by MHFA England supports participants in acting as a point of contact for signposting to resources and support services for someone who may be experiencing distress. The training is specifically tailored to empower participants to have a profound positive impact on their communities. In the context of workplaces, this enables colleagues to support each other, especially following what has been a challenging few years in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the last few months, Lisa Smith, Luke Stokoe-Moores, Andrea Maestri and Eilidh Morris have taken part in training sessions and have qualified as mental health first aiders
Lisa is the sustainability lead and performance manager for the Technical Services division. She has worked for RSK for seven years and knows first-hand how important it is to support the mental health and wellbeing of ourselves and others. “I was a little unsure about doing the training as it’s a sensitive subject for some, but the trainer, Simon Osborne from SO Coach, made the course really engaging and fun. It is a fantastic opportunity to take better care of your colleagues, as well as yourself and your family, and I’m so pleased to have completed it.” Lisa commented.
Luke is an apprentice finance assistant and has a background in debt collection for major banks. During this time, Luke “saw first-hand the various stages and severity of poor mental health. I decided to retrain in accountancy following some really unsettling conversations with people who were at crisis point. I left with a desire to help people,” he said. “MHFA has given me the confidence to put myself forward as someone who is willing to assist with those in need of support. Too often, we treat mental health as a taboo topic that should be kept private, only offering support when someone is at crisis point.”
Andrea is the Technical Services division finance director and has been at RSK for ten years, having previously worked in finance in the construction materials and contracting sectors. Andrea said of the course, “The training was superb from start to finish and a real eye–opener. There are so many things you can do to increase your knowledge and awareness of mental health issues and the warning signs. The two things that stick in my mind after completing the course are: to ask ‘How can I help?’ if someone has confided in you that they are not ok and to download the Hub of Hope app on your work phone!”
Eilidh is a health and safety adviser within the Technical Services divisional health and safety team, having previously been part of the health and safety team at Black and Veatch (now Binnies). “I found the mental health first aiders course to be a real eye–opener. Everyone has mental health, just like everyone has physical health – I have witnessed it first–hand when someone close to me experienced a crisis.” Eilidh said. “After participating in the MHFA course, I now feel more confident when guiding someone to the appropriate support, whether it is employees, family or friends. I also feel more confident speaking to employees about mental health in the workplace.”
Lisa, Luke, Andrea and Eilidh join a growing number of colleagues across the RSK group who have the resources they need to support their peers. Their commitment to undertake this voluntary training reflects the importance we place as a business on supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our colleagues across the group.