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Warwickshire businesses are being urged to treat mental wellbeing in the same way as physical health and to ensure they have a trained mental health first aider in the workplace.
Susanna and Mark Wisniewski own Workful – a new mental health first aid training consultancy based in Leamington.
After supporting several close friends and family with mental health issues, Susanna trained with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England and set up the new service, with Mark assisting behind the scenes.
They brought in the help of accountancy firm Burgis & Bullock which has offices in Leamington, Nuneaton, Rugby and Stratford-upon-Avon, to advise on the development of the business and enable them to reach as many workplaces with their workshops as possible.
Workful teaches several courses on mental health and workplace happiness, but Susanna says that its MHFA England accredited course is in most demand.
She said: “Unfortunately poor mental health will affect one in four of us every year, the MHFA England courses are evidence-based, which means the content works for those experiencing poor mental health.
“The ultimate goal is for 10 per cent of all adults nationally to be trained in Mental Health First Aid, with lobbying currently taking place to make it mandatory to have one in the workplace.
“It’s all about breaking down the stigma around mental health, getting people talking, and that is what we are emphasising to businesses we are working with in Leamington and across the region.
“We initially approached Burgis & Bullock around our corporate tax returns, but they have taken the time to understand our plans and how we want to develop our offering across the region, reaching as many individuals as we can with our message.
“There is a lot of discussion around self-care at the moment and understanding the situations and behaviour which could lead to a crisis. The course helps to dispel myths around the topic as well as offering practical advice on how to help with mental health concerns.”
The accountancy firm were among the first companies to attend a two-day mental health first aid workshop.
Cameron Ross, who works in the client services team at the firm, is now a fully qualified MHFA and can aid friends, family and colleagues when they suffer from poor mental health, as well as introducing good mental health practices at Burgis & Bullock
Dale Southworth, from Burgis & Bullock, said: “Susanna and Mark are providing an important service for businesses, which is only going to become more prevalent.
“We have supported Workful with their accounts and compliance, but also making sure they understand the numbers and what they mean going forwards for the development of the business.
“Cameron came back from the two-day workshop with Workful and has already started to implement what he has learnt into the workplace at our Nuneaton office, and we look forward to continuing to support Susanna and Mark in the future.”
Workful holds open courses in Leamington every month and is available for in-hour training for businesses. To find out more visit www.workful.co.uk.