As part of our renewed commitment to supporting good mental health for our clients and staff we celebrated Mental Health Awareness Week across the organisation in May this year – as marked by the Mental Health Foundation as we know the topic is so important, not just for the people we support but for our employees too.
Fresh, the Staff Health and Wellbeing group worked with our newly qualified Mental Health First Aiders to host a wonderful day at our Head Office in the Conference Room on Wednesday 15th May. The interactive sessions were visited by over 30 staff members from different services in Leeds, Sheffield, Calderdale and Kirklees. Natallie Shuttleworth, HR Operations Manager and Eleanor Broadbent, Equality, Diversity and Client Involvement Officer facilitated the event with the help of L&D Advisor Jacqueline Carver practiced Indian head massage treatments on our visitors throughout the day.
The interactive sessions featured specialist resources and games on loan from the Public Health Resource Centre, a mood-boosting nutritious lunch supplied by St George’s Crypt social enterprise and real-life experience talks from our colleagues who bravely shared their stories with the group. We also displayed a large collection of resources, leaflets and posters on staying well at work for staff to take away.
At the end of our event we were joined by some very popular waggy-tailed guests from The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. Labrador crosses Ian, Sabre and Rhoda were accompanied by two volunteers from the charity to raise awareness of the therapeutic power of animals and the positive impact they have on the mental health of people with visual impairments. This activity helped us to raise over £70 for the association! Thank you Amy Lenton, HR Officer for arranging this.
Manager of Heatherstones Gerard Wainwright delivered a mini-teach session on Skills For Care’s approach to Resilience and Support Worker and Mindfulness Practitioner Kat Thomas shared her guided meditation techniques. We would also like to thank our colleagues and guest speakers Barbara Read, Nick Anderson, Beth Gibbins, Tony Jack, Lynda Haigh, Luke Taylor, Jo Higgins, Joanne Campey, Niamh Foley and all our Mental Health First Aiders for making this a truly special event.