INDUSTRO Solutions is placing mental health at the forefront of its health and safety commitment with the creation of a team of mental health first aiders.
The Middlesbrough-based engineering company engaged with KPL Training to deliver a Mental Health First Aid England programme, which enabled a group of its staff to be recognised as mental health first aiders.
The training was delivered by mental health expert Kim Porritt who taught the team how to identify a mental illness, what to do when someone is experiencing an episode and where to obtain additional support.
The illnesses covered included depression, anxiety, personality disorders, eating disorders, self-harm, psychosis, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The five mental health first aiders are a positive addition to the company’s current wellbeing programme which is in place to encourage colleagues to talk about their mental health as they would their physical health.
Director Joanne Bell said: “In a male dominated industry where mental health would normally be a taboo subject, we are raising awareness and breaking the stigma through mental health first aid training.
“One in eight men have a common mental health problem and in 2017, 75% of the 5,821 suicides in Great Britain were male.
“INDUSTRO is passionate about taking care of both our employees’ physical and mental wellbeing and our next goal is for every one of our 30-strong team to complete a half day mental health awareness course.”
Beyond the formal training, the work culture at INDUSTRO is enhanced by the regular attendance of the directors’ dogs, Maicie and Duke. Studies show that dogs reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and can trigger work place interactions and increase productivity.
Joanne Bell said: “There is a growing trend of dogs being brought into work and we have found this has supported our focus on mental health, as our team love having the dogs around, it lifts their spirits and Maicie and Duke benefit from the extra attention too.”