At RBH, we prioritise the wellbeing of our team and a major part of this is creating a safe work environment.
This year, our Group Account Director, Helen, utilised her annual training budget in an innovative way – by becoming our first certified Mental Health First Aider through the comprehensive two-day course offered by WorkSafe.
Through this course, Helen was able to gain both theoretical and practical insights into a wide range of mental health problems and some of the key signs to look out for if someone is in need of some support.
Understanding the spectrum of mental health
Helen’s training with WorkSafe covered a wide variety of mental health problems, ranging from the likes of anxiety and depression to suicidal thoughts, psychotic episodes and substance addiction.
Helen commented, “The course equipped me with the knowledge to identify initial signs that someone may be struggling and how is best for me to approach them in a sensitive manner.”
Implementing coping mechanisms
One of the key takeaways from the training was the importance of understanding different coping mechanisms that can be put in place to help those that are struggling.
Helen learned how individuals can make the most of their senses and use these to pair with different grounding techniques, incorporating comforting smells, such as lavender and tastes, such as sour sweets.
Helen said, “It was so interesting to learn about the variety of coping techniques that can help, particularly in the case of panic attacks, and how you can almost trick your brain by honing in on your five senses.”
Practical learning through roleplay
The course also involved practical elements such as roleplay examples and videos, with group discussions and activities to follow.
Helen and her fellow trainees were exposed to examples of real-life scenarios, helping them develop the skills needed to handle delicate situations in the workplace.
Helen added, “Watching over the video examples and acting out roleplay scenarios really helped to bring the training to life and provided me with the confidence of how I would approach various situations in the office if an individual was suffering from poor mental health.”
Supporting colleagues with action plans
Upon completion of the course, Helen received valuable resources to implement within RBH’s workspace, as well as three years of certification.
Action plan templates were shared, allowing the trainees to take tangible steps to support team members who may be facing mental health problems. This proactive approach aligns with RBH’s founding principles which include caring for one another by creating a workplace where everyone feels seen, heard and supported.
Investing in our employees’ wellbeing
Helen’s decision to use her annual training budget to become a Mental Health First Aider is a testament to her commitment to investing in the wellbeing of RBH’s team.
It is vital that our employees are equipped with the tools to recognise and respond to mental health concerns, and act on this appropriately.
Helen reflected, “The course provided great insight into how we can, not just encourage, but embrace conversations around mental health in the workplace.
“Talking to your colleagues about such topics can be daunting, but it’s so crucial when working across fast-paced industries for us to all check in on one another and spot when someone is showing signs of having poor mental health.”