Northampton-based building products manufacturer Forterra has appointed 60 volunteer mental health first aiders from within its workforce to become mental health advocates and points of contact for colleagues in need of support. The timely announcement coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week (10th – 16th May).
The mental health first aiders, which include employees from all areas of the business, from board directors to site operatives, will be trained by trained by EAP and workplace health and wellbeing provider Health Assured on two-day courses running during June and July. The training will equip volunteers with the skills to recognise when a colleague might be struggling with their mental health and assist them in seeking the right support.
In addition to the appointment of dedicated mental health first aiders, Forterra is running a training session for managers called ‘Starting the conversation’. Managers are in an ideal position to become mental health advocates and to be able to recognise when someone within their team might be in need of support. The training session will give managers the tools to be able to ‘start the conversation’ and guide the person in the direction of the appropriate services.
Shahbaz Idriss, Human Resources Director at Forterra said: “The past year has been challenging for even the most resilient of people. As a business, we recognise that we have a role to play in providing a supportive and understanding working environment where it feels safe to talk about mental health issues. We had an overwhelming response to our recruitment drive for mental health first aider volunteers, which indicates a desire within our business to make mental health part of our everyday conversations.”
For more information about Forterra, please visit https://www.forterra.co.uk/.