Mental health and wellbeing: Time for action

Georgie Ford

Georgie Ford

Dave Crew – Head of Business Growth & Employer Partnerships at Weston College – shared his views on the increased importance of improving mental health and employee wellbeing in the workplace.

According to Mind, 56% of employers would like to do more to improve staff wellbeing, but don’t feel they have the right training or guidance.

This alongside some stark statistics from Mind’s ‘Mental Health Emergency’ report, which revealed that three in five people across the UK have reported a deterioration of their mental health during the pandemic, represents a very sad picture for the nation – as experts claim that we are in the middle of an ‘unprecedented mental health crisis’, as self-isolation takes its toll.

Since the first lockdown last year, I am sure that you have been invited to many mental health webinars, and whilst it is good for us to attend the occasional session to enhance our knowledge, now is the time for action.

At Weston College we are actively looking to support you, to not only to help your staff gain a greater understanding of mental health and wellbeing, but also to put actions in place which will support your teams.

We run a Mental Health First Aid course, which will enable you to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill-health and provide first-aid help and solutions.

North Somerset Enterprise Agency’s CEO Angela Hicks completed this course: “I felt it was important to develop my own understanding of mental health and so completed the Mental Health First Aid course at Weston College.

“This was invaluable in being able to understand that mental health issues are likely to be noticed by a colleague, friend or family member well before a professional becomes involved and how best to provide that initial support.

“Early intervention is key in supporting staff, reducing anxiety and helping to support good mental health.”

Self-isolation is having a major effect on us all, as we try to adapt to not being able to meet up with friends and family, complete our hobbies, or head to the gym to exercise; so we have launched Lockdown Learning – an exciting new suite of courses which will you give you the opportunity to keep your mind active and develop your knowledge in key areas such as leadership and learn new skills.

▴ Georgie Ford, Advanced Practitioner in Mental Health and Wellbeing at Weston College, explains why encouraging staff to complete training during a lockdown/being furloughed can assist in maintaining their wellbeing: “A course can help to keep your employees minds busy and active, it allows them to filter out some sources of information and keeps them in a positive mindset as they are working towards something. A course allows us to connect with others, even when virtually – connection is one of the five ways to support well-being.”

You can also book a one-to-one chat with our team, via our new Skills Surgeries initiative. Skills Surgeries are 40-minute online appointments, for any employer to have a conversation with a member of my team. They have a simple objective: providing advice on how to access funding for skills training. You describe your workforce development challenge and we’ll help you find a solution.

Get in touch with our team, and we will support you: employers@weston.ac.uk

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