St James’s Place is taking the fight to anxiety and depression with an ‘internationally recognised’ training regime for staff.
The mental health first aid (MHFA) course, launched in June, initially trained 30 employees from across the business to identify signs that colleagues are struggling and administer first aid. The ‘wellbeing champions’ will be the first point of contact for staff in need.
SJP registered ‘significant’ interest from staff across the country after the course was promoted on World Mental Health Day on 10 October.
Currently, staff at St James’s Place have access to a number of health services. These include getting a second medical opinion, telephone and web-based advice on symptoms and medication, personal health screening and protection benefits such as private medical insurance and critical illness cover.
In a statement, St James’s Place said: ‘The wellbeing of our employees is extremely important to us. This includes mental health, and we recently launched a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course, which aims to create a network of wellbeing champions across the business.
‘MHFA is an internationally recognised training course, designed to teach people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis.
‘A mental health first aider is a point of contact for an employee who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction could range from having an initial conversation through to supporting the person to get appropriate help.’
The statement added that ‘embedding MHFA into any organisation encourages people to talk more freely about mental health, reducing stigma and creating a more positive culture, something that St James’s Place is keen to embrace.’
Employees are also encouraged to walk regularly with peers and managers to boost mental health and to use suggested walking routes in the local area.