Kyocera Document Solutions UK has taken a large step to improving workplace mental health by participating in a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course, equipping its staff with the skills they need to support their own and others’ wellbeing.
Mental ill health can strike at any time and can affect people from all walks of life. With an average of one in four people experiencing a mental health issue in the UK, making sure that its employees benefit from the best support and accommodating their needs are top priorities for the company.
MHFA is the mental health equivalent of physical first aid, and Mental Health First Aid England is the only provider of licensed Mental Health First Aid Instructor training in England. The internationally renowned course focuses on educating people on how to identify warning signs of mental ill health, as well as how they can develop the skills and confidence needed to approach and support someone, whilst also looking after their own wellbeing.
Following on from Kyocera’s CEO, Rod Tonna-Barthet recent signing of the Where’s Your Head At? Workplace Manifesto, 17 members of staff from across different departments and levels of seniority took part in the two-day Mental Health First Aid course. In addition, Julia Allen, Organisational and People Development Partner at Kyocera Document Solutions UK, is now officially qualified as an MHFA Instructor, a qualification that will allow her to deliver courses in the workplace.
Leadership and management are also taken into account by Kyocera: being supported by a manager can help individuals manage different kinds of difficulties, including mental health problems. The company will deliver an awareness training for line managers so they can help ensure that mental health problems are identified early if they arise in their team.
Amanda Childs, HR Group Director at Kyocera Document Solutions UK, commented: “Understanding and caring for our own mental health is a hugely important part of being human and has been neglected by many for a long time. The issue has been that, unlike physical health, when it comes to mental health, it isn’t as clear who you can turn to, particularly in the workplace. Add to this the perceived stigma attached to mental health issues, and it’s easy to see why so many suffer in silence. However, it is positive to see so many organisations including ours increasing their awareness of the impact the workplace can have of the mental health of staff.
“Following our participation in the MHFA course, we will be taking the time over the next year to implement a programme of sharing knowledge, understanding and practising the necessary emotional first aid to support people when they feel impacted. We hope that this approach and the subsequent learning, will in time help us to build a more inclusive organisation that can empower employees to not only improve their mental health, but also reduce any such work-related conditions that might have given rise to mental ill health in the first place.”
Rod Tonna-Barthet, CEO at Kyocera Document Solutions UK, added: “Awareness around mental health in the workplace has increased over the last couple of years, but the crisis is far from over and employers must play their part in supporting their workforce in this regard. We want to take a different approach and deliver a more personalised support.
We all go through difficult times in life, and whether they’re related to work or not, it is vital that we protect our employees by addressing mental health for those with existing issues, for those at risk, and for the workforce as a whole.”