To coincide with World Mental Health Day, 10th October 2019, South West College (SWC) launched a number of new health and well-being initiatives including; SWC Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) and an online Mental Health Awareness Module and Toolkit of Resources.
Mental health is the way we think and feel and our ability to deal with life’s ups and downs. Mental health issues are far from uncommon and at least one in four people in the UK will suffer from a mental health issue this year.
Work plays a major role in most of our lives - it’s where we spend much of our time, earn our income and very often, where we build our social networks of friends. Having a fulfilling job and being happy in the workplace can be good for our mental health and general well-being.
Employers also have a legal responsibility to help their employees and there is evidence to suggest that workplaces with high levels of mental health well-being are more productive. Therefore it is in employers’ interests to have mechanisms in place to make the workplace more mentally healthy for everyone.
Speaking about the launch of the new SWC health and well-being initiatives, Michael McAlister, Chief Executive said:
“At South West College we are committed to investing in mental health initiatives to support our staff and students. Sometimes life can get on top of us, whether it is work-related stress or something going on in our personal lives. Ultimately we want to boost the mental health of both our staff and students by putting the necessary procedures in place to support their needs.
“Our new designated mental health first aiders are trained in recognising the warning signs of people in need of support and the online module provides a range of supporting tools and information to encourage staff to take reasonable care for their own health, safety and well-being whilst at work.”
The SWC Mental Health First Aiders are designated staff at each campus who will be the go-to person for anyone experiencing some form of emotional or psychological well-being or mental health issue. The MHFA team will wear a green ribbon, which identifies them as a mental health first aider within SWC.
The College’s new online module provides an overview and awareness of mental health and well-being issues in the workplace and a toolkit of resources has been created to support and assist all staff in maintaining positive mental health and well-being.