Search Laboratory invests in mental health first aid training for 50% of staff

Renae-Shaw Search Laboratory

Digital marketing agency Search Laboratory has provided mental health first aid training for 50% of its 130 employees, in order to align with an ongoing commitment to support positive mental health in the workplace.

The training was initially promoted to staff during a wellbeing week in November 2018. At this point, all of the organisation’s managers completed the course, and interested employees were able to sign up if they wished to participate.

Half of Search Laboratory’s employee base volunteered, and the mental health first aid training was then conducted on 29 January 2019.

The course informed staff about how to spot signs of mental health issues and how to have the confidence to intervene when an individual is in distress.

Renae Shaw (pictured), head of HR at Search Laboratory, said: “We want to help everyone fulfil their potential and make sure the working environment doesn’t add to any difficulties our employees might face.

“By providing mental health first aid training, we hope staff and managers will feel more equipped to have the right conversations, [while] we as [an organisation] will continue to review our culture and practices. We want to make sure staff feel they can speak out without fear of being treated differently or in an unsympathetic way.”

The Leeds-based employer further demonstrated its commitment to workplace mental health by signing the Mental Health Charter in July 2018. This is a register of employers that commit to prioritising employees’ psychological wellbeing.

The mental health first aid training will be supported by Search Laboratory’s existing health and wellbeing¬†offering. This includes free gym memberships, free food if employees walk or cycle to work, access to a health cash plan, provided by Simplyhealth, and free counselling sessions.

Shaw added: “The mental health of employees is just as important as their physical health. We wouldn’t ignore someone with a broken leg, so we shouldn’t ignore mental illness either.

“We believe it’s important to adopt a holistic approach when supporting staff. We offer incentives like free fruit, free gym memberships and private counselling, but these sit within a wider strategy, where manager approach, staff attitudes and the working culture all play a massive role.”