Executive search organisation GatenbySanderson has trained 10 of its 140 employees to be mental health first aiders.
The training was completed on 10 and 11 July 2019 in partnership with mental health charity Mind. The programme aimed to equip staff to spot the early warning signs of deteriorating mental health, understand the importance of early intervention in these cases and know how to respond to crisis points, such as panic attacks or the intention to self-harm or commit suicide.
The introduction of mental health first aid training aligns with the organisation’s wider aims to embed the principles of good mental health within the business and create a more inclusive work environment that actively supports employees’ mental wellbeing.
This is a particular business concern because of the high-stress industry that GatenbySanderson operates in; with offices across Birmingham, Leeds and London, the organisation supports the recruitment and development of boards and leaders within public service organisations.
Other actions GatenbySanderson is taking to promote and create an inclusive workplace include establishing a diversity and inclusion working group to review internal processes, running an insight programme to help build a pipeline of diverse talent, conducting a recruitment campaign to attract talent from different social, economic and education backgrounds, reviewing its approach to flexible working and setting up a Your Voice working group, to capture employee feedback on diversity and inclusion across the business.
GatenbySanderson has also adopted the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) as its chosen charity for fundraising efforts.
Sam Ellis (pictured), board director and mental health first aider, said: “We have made a commitment to work together as a group to introduce initiatives across the business and keep sharing knowledge to develop our learning beyond the course.
“Our newly formed group of mental health first aiders are equipped to provide support to any [employee] that experiences emotional distress or mental health issues. They will provide a non-judgemental ear, support [staff] in accessing ongoing emotional support and help them engage with self-help strategies.”