Published - 5 July 2018

Staff trained to spot mental health warnings

Thirty staff members across Notting Hill Genesis have been given special training to help colleagues struggling with their mental health.

The Mental Health First Aid programme provides the skills and confidence to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues and guide people towards the right support.

Mental ill health affects one in four people in the UK every year, while 300,000 with long-term mental health issues will lose their jobs each year. Mental Health First Aid has been proven to support people in seeking help more quickly and returning to work faster.

Staff will provide support and advice

Any colleague can get in touch with a mental health first aider either face-to-face, over the phone or by email, and all conversations are confidential and won’t be discussed with anyone unless there is serious risk of harm.

They can suggest support systems both internally and externally through organisations such as MIND, Samaritans, GPs and community mental health teams.

Lawrence Santcross, director of care and support for Notting Hill Genesis, is also one of the mental health first aiders. He said: “Given that about a quarter of people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and one in six reports experiencing a common mental health problem like anxiety or depression in any given week, it is likely that most staff members will either have experienced their own difficulties, or know someone who has.

“We know how devastating the impact can be on someone’s health and wellbeing, but also how important it is to provide people with the right types of help to support them in their recovery.

Lawrence Santcross

“That’s why I was delighted to learn about, and attend, the training. It has equipped a group of staff with the knowledge and skills which will help them reach out to colleague experiencing distress and help them identify and access appropriate support.”

This programme is being offered as part of a wider strategy to improve the wellbeing of our staff and in three main areas: physical, emotional and financial. Mental Health First Aiders are a key part of this strategy, as they provide another source of support for staff, alongside well-trained managers and the Employee Assistance Programme.

Notting Hill Genesis intends to provide the Mental Health First Aid training to more staff in the future.

Notting Hill Genesis
Communications, Notting Hill Genesis