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Includem’s Mental Health First Aiders

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we are proud to launch Includem’s Mental Health First Aid initiative for staff.

The health and wellbeing of our staff is hugely important to us. The events of the last few months have served as a stark reminder of how fragile our health can be, and how important it is to look after each other and ourselves.

That’s why we are using this Mental Health Awareness Week to launch Includem’s team of Mental Health First Aiders. A group of 12 Includem staff from across the organisation completed the two-day Mental Health first Aid training programme, which teaches you how to recognise when someone is in distress and how to offer support.

Includem's team of Mental Health First Aiders

Our team of Mental Health First Aiders are there to act as an initial point of contact and reassurance for staff, should they want to. As with traditional First Aid, our Mental Health First Aiders are not expected to diagnose or treat people, but they can offer a listening ear and some guidance for accessing other services.

One of our Dundee team, Alison, explained why she wanted to become a Mental Health First Aider: “I believe that Mental Health is just as important as physical health. As a Mental Health First Aider, I hope to be able to support my colleagues and help them find further support when they need it.”

Georgina, one of our Glasgow-based Mental Health First Aiders, said: “Having Mental Health First Aiders in the workplace is so important because the job we do brings so many challenges. Knowing that in my time of need there is a first point of contact that will listen and signpost without judgment makes me feel really supported. We are all professional in our practice, but recognition that we are human and that life affects us too shows me that Includem really cares.”

Includem’s Senior HR Manager, Suzanne Booth, added: “We recognise that poor mental health can affect anyone, at any time, but the type of work we do can be particularly distressing at times. On top of that, we are all now having to learn how to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. With little time to prepare, we’ve had to rethink how we live and how we work and that can be hard.

“The Mental Health First Aid initiative is a fantastic addition to the range of supports already available to staff. It was heartening to see so many staff volunteer for the training – it just goes to show what a great staff team we have!”

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