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    Webinar – What mental health first aid looks like

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    In our latest webinar, we team up with Minding Your Business to explore how businesses can support good mental health at work.

    latest webinar

    If you’re looking for resources and support on how to help enable good mental health in the workplace, then our 2019 Wellbeing Calendar is a good place to start.

    This year we’ve been expanding the types of resources and services we’re providing – and our tools are relevant whether you’re a business owner, a line manager, HR exec or work somewhere else in an organisation.

    At 11am on Tuesday 14 May, we’re holding a Mental Health First Aid and Awareness webinar, created and co-hosted by Minding Your Business.

    You can register for a place now. Here’s what to expect.

    Minding Your Business

    Judy Corney is an employment manager at Employment Support Retraining Agency (ESRA), the small charity that provides the Minding Your Business service.

    “ESRA started about 40 years ago,” she says. “Our role is to provide employment support for local people with mental health issues. So we help people who have a goal towards work – whether that’s with writing CVs, mock interviews, that kind of thing.

    “But we also help with issues that can arise in work – wellness recovery plans, practical steps, small changes that might make a huge difference to someone who’s got a mental health issue at work. It can be little things, like the positioning of the desk, or providing headsets to cut down on noise that might disturb them.”

    Minding Your Business sprung up from ESRA around six years ago. “Jane, our manager at the time, became aware of the concept of mental health first aid and trained in it.

    “Now we have four trainers that deliver the course to businesses around the country.”

    A partnership with Unum has followed, with anyone covered by a Unum product receiving discounted rates for the Minding Your Business course – with all profits ploughed back into the charity.

    This introductory webinar, however, is totally free and open to all.

    What to expect from the webinar

    Hosting the webinar with Judy is Beth Husted, Rehabilitation and Wellbeing Manager at Unum.

    “The webinar is aimed firstly at line managers and HR professionals,” she says. “But there are relevant topics for everyone.

    “We’ll cover who we are, how to define mental health, mental health first aid, how to support employees and how to support yourself.”

    This last point is a vital one, says Beth. Many well-intentioned line managers or business owners might be attempting to put into place healthy working practices at their company, without recognising the need to also look after themselves.

    “There are lots of resources out there that can help. We’ll look through some of the most useful – such as the signs and symptoms to watch out for if you’re a manager aiming to promote good mental health at work.”

    What to remember

    Tuesday’s webinar is activity-based, with Judy and Beth hosting the session live from Unum’s offices in Dorking.

    “We try to encourage companies to look after their staff,” says Judy. “To think about mental health, break down the stigma, enable people to have a discussion about it – that’s the most important thing.”

    Beth agrees: “Mental health first aid is a really valuable part of an overall strategy for businesses to manage mental health.

    “But it’s important to remember that it is only part of the full picture – it’s not a total solution. Mental health first aid isn’t simply a case of treating people who are unwell. That’s like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

    “You need to put in place initiatives to create a healthy working environment beforehand. And if mental health issues do arise, you need to be armed with the knowledge and awareness to deal with them.”

    The Mental Health First Aid and Awareness webinar takes place for an hour on Tuesday 14 May at 11am. You can sign up for the session here.