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Power company shining a light on Mental Health First Aid programme

Employees at energy firm UK Power Networks now have access to mental health first aiders - in the form of colleagues trained to spot the signs of conditions like stress and anxiety.

From Press releases - 10 October 2019 12:00 AM

Over 180 members of staff are now fully qualified Mental Health First Aiders following a two day training programme that is fully accredited by Mental Health First Aid England, part delivered by in-house trainer and project designer Darren Cheadle.

Mental Health First Aid training is part of the company’s WorkingWell wellbeing initiative, launched in response to employee feedback to prioritise mental as well as physical health. 

To further highlight mental health wellbeing, the company has also created a series of videos that use actors to tell the real-life stories of employees who have experienced mental health problems. By championing employee generated content, the films are designed to educate and raise awareness around mental health and to get conversations started in offices and among field staff across the network.

The company’s next WorkingWell objective is to develop a new mental health policy to bolster the company’s commitment to mental health wellbeing in the workplace.

Speaking on World Mental Health Day 2019, Alex Sturge head of communications, engagement and learning and development at UK Power Networks said: “We have listened to our colleagues’ ideas for greater support to be put in place around mental health, which includes any concerns they have at home or work. We’re proud to have 180 members of staff who are now qualified mental health first aiders, empowered to notice the signs of mental ill health and to support and listen in a non-judgmental way. 

“We have also continued our partnership with our employee assistance provider for all employees to access counselling, financial advice, and general health and wellbeing advice from an independent and confidential network of advisors.”

UK Power Networks plans to mark World Mental Health Day by hosting a series of Tea & Talk sessions where employees can meet with their local Mental Health First Aider to learn more about mental health and the support and services available.