Coffee, Chocolate Orange and Mental Health – 40SEVEN and IETG held their annual Stop for Safety day on 25 March 2019 – and this year the focus was on Mental Health Awareness.
Recognising that one in four of the attendees will suffer from a mental health issue at some point in their lives (or will know of someone in their immediate circle of family and friends who is/has suffered) has spurred the business on to recently train over 10% of its employees as Mental Health First Aiders. Introducing the new MHFAers to the rest of the business, the team set about encouraging others in the room to talk – about what they thought Mental Health was, and how they could say the right thing to someone if they thought they needed support. Each employee went away with a goodie bag – containing leaflets about looking after their mental health and a credit card sized information list: so they could keep details with them at all times of national support, as well as the company Employee Assistance Programme. A Costa coffee voucher and chocolate orange (with real oranges as well) were given out to encourage people to invite someone to talk – just to have a chat if they were experiencing any mental health challenges, or to offer support if they saw a colleague who might be.
As Ian Edwards, Managing Director wrote in a letter to each employee issued on the day “I want to remove any stigma surrounding Mental Health, so that anyone who works at IETG or 40SEVEN feels safe and happy to fulfil their potential and feels supported by their colleagues”.
Plans for the rest of 2019 include training for all managers and supervisors, as well as awareness sessions for all employees. Mental wellbeing is an issue for all in business but the training and support provided by IETG and 40SEVEN can also be of use to employees in their personal life as they may learn new skills to help their family and friends as well.