In May 2022, the next batch of Incrementalists took part in a 2-day mental health first aid training course, enabling them to apply the lessons learned into their professional and personal lives.

 

15 Incrementalists from across the company signed up to participate in a 2-day mental health first aid training course, held in the boardroom of our Glasgow office. The course covered how to spot mental health crisis’ in and out of the workplace and provided guidance on getting individuals the correct help.

As a course attendee and Associate People Business Partner, I would highly recommend this training to my peers and colleagues, based on my learnings outlined below.

Motivation for signing up

Working in the People team can mean I am often the first point of contact for issues relating to employee wellbeing.  I therefore wanted to enhance my skills to best support employees when they are vulnerable and be able to spot the signs when someone is suffering.  There is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health, so I was keen to learn more about it in order to help break that stigma and continue to promote a supportive, open and non-judgmental culture here at Incremental.

Training course outline

The 2-day course covered several important topics, such as the stigma surrounding mental health and how the words we use can add to the negative connotations attached to the subject. We learned about the effects of drugs and alcohol on our mental wellbeing and what we can do to improve it. We also learned  how to improve our mental wellbeing by making time for physical exercise, reaching out for support and seeking professional help. A key focus on day 1 of the course was suicide. This was an eye-opening session as it is still an extremely taboo subject. We were taught how to spot the signs that someone may be feeling suicidal and how to ask if someone was thinking about the subject.  We also learned about a variety of mental health issues and illnesses such as anxiety and depression, how to spot them, and how to support someone who may be suffering.

Above: Incrementalists who participated in May’s 2-day mental health first-aid training course. (L-R): Daniel Glenday, Rahul Ghai, Rebecca Court, Scott Stewart, Simon Wood, Scott McConnell, Kevin Watson, Ivan Mingoia, Paula Dunlop, Siobhan Currie, Susan Yeung, Kyle Smith, Patrick Frempong and (not pictured) Kerry Orr and Cara Burns.

Offering support when needed most

My key takeaway from the training is to reach out to someone if you think they are struggling. By reaching out and asking questions when you think someone is struggling will not make them any worse and it may just be the support they need. I will apply this training in my day-to-day working and personal life by being more open about mental health and wellbeing.  I will reach out to people if I think they need support and I now feel confident to ask difficult questions and signpost to professional services if required.

A safe space

This course was a prime example of why face-to-face learning is so important.  We were able to share experiences with each other about mental health and wellbeing in a safe environment. Struggles with mental health can be a difficult subject to talk about, so being all together in one room really helped us feel supported when sharing out thoughts and experiences. In the UK, as many as 1 in 4 people experience mental health problems in a year. This means that most people know someone who has experienced a mental health problem, so this was a great opportunity for individuals from different areas of the business to come together and learn about a subject that affects us all.

If you want to find out more about this 2-day training course, please reach out to me on LinkedIn. There is no one I wouldn’t recommend this course to. It is everyone’s responsibility to support one another’s mental wellbeing and this course lays the foundations on how to do so.

At Incremental, everyone’s mental wellbeing matters. Check out this blog that highlights some of the measures we take to ensure our employees have a healthy, happy frame of mind.