Vicki Wilder, Senior HR Business Partner, Alliance Healthcare

Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year while one in six will report experiencing a common mental health problem like anxiety and depression in any given week, according to latest estimates.

Putting mental health first and to mark mental health awareness week, Alliance Healthcare has come up with a first cohort of employee mental health first aiders (MHFA).

The MHFA England accredited training aims to identify people who may require help and will further guide them to appropriate support services.

The first group of 24 took part in a series of virtual training programmes that covered issues impacting and relating to people’s mental health.

These included active listening, starting a conversation about poor mental health, offering reassurance and sign-posting to appropriate professional help.

Calling mental health as ‘important’ as physical well being, Vicki Wilder, senior HR business partner, who is leading the training programme, said: “We have a duty of care to support our workforce and we are committed to providing appropriate help for poor mental health.”

She added: “We also recognise that the pandemic has taken its toll on people, but with the introduction of mental health first aiders, colleagues will have an additional avenue to be able to reach out for support.”

Alliance Healthcare has stressed on continuing its mental health first aider training and shared in a media release that, ‘by the end of this year every employee will have access to a trained mental health first aider.’

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