As part of his campaign for mental health awareness, the Island’s High Sheriff James Attrill has qualified in the The QNUK Level 2 Award in Mental Health at Work (RQF). He has been presented with his certificate by Larry Martin of Good Skills Training, who delivers the course in partnership with IW Chamber.
“I decided that the theme for my year as Island High Sheriff would be mental health,” James explains. “We can all learn in this area and with the backdrop of the pandemic, I think all of us have been through testing times. There’s still a ‘stiff upper lip’ attitude in some aspects of our lives and this particularly affects the workplace, where we spend a huge amount of time.
“I’m working with the IW Chamber to try and encourage employers and businesses to pay more attention to the mental health needs of their staff. Companies do have an obligation – it’s not just the physical needs of their employees that need to be considered with risk assessments and Health & Safety. They have to look after their employees mental health too.”
James booked himself on The QNUK Level 2 Award in Mental Health at Work (RQF) one day course. It’s an ideal introduction to understanding mental health in the workplace. The qualification covers the most common mental health conditions, how to identify potential mental health concerns in colleagues and then how to discuss their needs and assist them to access suitable services and support.
“It’s the best thing I’ve done in a long time,” James says. “The course really showed me how important it is to get this right. We’ve got to take it seriously. It’s a realisation that everybody in the office has got a responsibility to look after everybody else. I came away with a lot of pointers and the tools to open up a proper conversation.
“I’m one of the owners of BCM so I have a primary responsibility to look after my team. If people are becoming ill through your business activities then what sort of reflection is that on you as a business and a person? Mental health issues impact on people in every walk of life and healthy people work well. The employment market is pretty tight. Employers have to go a long way to encourage good people to come and work for you these days. If a potential employee asks you the question ‘how does the company deal with well-being?’ and you’re struggling to answer the question then that’s a serious gap.”
Good Skills Training’s Larry Martin says that although the climate is changing when it comes to talking about mental health, there’s still a reticence for staff and their employers to open up.
“Starting the conversation can feel like the hardest things you’ll ever do but it’s the first step to helping someone and making a change. Once you learn to get past the pleasantries and say to someone, ‘no, really, how are you?’ you can start to help. The easiest thing is to do nothing but that doesn’t help anybody. This course is a real primer in the kind of situations you might face as an employer and how you can take action and signpost your employee to get help.”
The Mental Health at Work course is delivered by Good Skills Training Ltd and is run regularly as a one-day session. The QNUK Level 2 Award in Mental Health at Work qualification costs £99 +VAT per person (this includes the certificate and manual). For further information visit www.iwchamber.co.uk/training