Companies must train in mental wellbeing after pandemic, urges The Source

13th May 2021

Companies need to have the right skills to support the mental health of workers returning from furlough, advises a leading Sheffield training academy.

During Mental Health Awareness Week (May 10-16) training and skills provider The Source is encouraging businesses to take up Mental Health First Aid training.

“Bosses need to be able to spot when workers are struggling with depression and anxiety,” said Dale Robinson, Director of Business Development at The Source, which boosted the skills and morale of furloughed workers at over 70 Sheffield City Region SMEs through online learning in the last year.

“The pandemic has had a big impact on people’s mental wellbeing and the effects could be with us for a long time.

“Employers have a legal responsibility to have trained First Aiders in their teams in case their workers become ill or are injured. But they also have a moral duty to care for their mental wellness.”

Since 2003 the Skills Academy, a not-for-profit charity, has upskilled thousands of local people, helping many into work and others to boost their careers. Leading by example in its positive mental health message, it has set out a robust mental health strategy.

It aims to have a trained wellness advocate in each department at its Meadowhall Way premises, so staff can look after each other and learners on apprenticeships and training courses.

The Source now has 95 per cent of its workforce of 66 back out of furlough. Staff are mainly office-based with a number home-working.

Its mental health courses are led by experienced tutors Sharon Meadows and Amy Sanby and result in the nationally-recognised Certificate in Mental Health First Aid Advocacy qualification. Topics cover staff mental health monitoring, how to spot the warning signs that an employee is struggling and how to respond and support

Study can be done onsite alongside tutors at The Source’s new ground floor Community Learning Zone, or some or all work can be completed online.

Administration and Compliance Manager Sam Green, 34, studied for a Mental Health First 

Sam also decided to study a course in Understanding, Children’s Mental Health so she could help her children, aged two and six, from being affected by lockdown restrictions.

Designed for schoolteachers and college tutors, the course is proving valuable to companies taking on young apprentices and recruits on the Kickstart programme.

“The pandemic has had an impact on young people which could last for many years. What I learned helped me understand how my children felt and help me to build their resilience,” she commented. 

Go to www.thesourceacademy.co.uk for more information on mental health training or email vernon.tolson@thesourceacademy.co.uk

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