White Light Continues its Commitment to Mental Health Awareness

PLSN Staff • International News • October 18, 2019


UK – As a company signed up to the Mental Health Charter, WL is committed to raising the awareness and discussion around mental health. As a result, the company recently trained several of its staff to become Mental Health First Aiders, ensuring all of its employees have access to the necessary support should they require it.

More details from White Light (www.whitelight.ltd.uk):

Last week, the MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) visited WL’s Wimbledon premises to conduct two days of training, allowing the ten attendees to become Mental Health First Aiders. The role of a Mental Health First Aider allows people to recognize the crucial warning signs of mental ill health and give them the confidence to guide someone to appropriate support. One of the participants included WL’s Head of Moving Light Matt Farquhar, who comments: “Since becoming a Manager, I’ve learnt an awful lot about how mental health affects people’s personal, working and social lives. Unfortunately, mental health still has a certain stigma associated with it and I wanted to help break this down at the workplace”.

Also taking the training was WL’s Recruitment Co-ordinator Shannon Hurley. She states: “Having lost a friend due to their own struggles with mental health, I am always looking for ways in which I can raise awareness and offer help to those who need it. I volunteer for the charity Shout as a Crisis Line Volunteer and so when I found out that WL was training more Mental Health First Aiders, I wanted to get involved. WL is the first company I’ve worked for that has been a strong advocate for mental health awareness and it’s something I want to embrace as an employee”.

As part of the training, WL staff worked closely with the MHFA over a two-day period in which they were taught an array of techniques to help recognize the signs of someone who may be suffering with mental health and how to respond to this by providing a safe space for recovery. They were also taught the Mental Health First Aid action plan ALGEE: Approach and assess, Listen and communicate, Give support, Encourage help and Encourage others.

Shannon explains: “What was great about the training was how it practically showed us how to approach and deal with certain situations. A big part of removing the stigma around mental health is opening the conversation and showing people that it’s nothing to be ashamed of”.

Matt and Shannon were trained alongside eight others who work all across the company to ensure the resources stretch as widely as possible. Matt comments: “Using everything I’ve learned, I now feel I have both the confidence and tools to assist anyone who may be suffering from poor mental health – something that’s a valuable asset to the organization”.

Chris Nicholls concludes: “Health, Safety and Welfare has always been a huge priority at WL – and that’s not just the physical side. Thankfully, as a society, we’re finally recognising the benefits of looking after our own mental health as well as that of our family, friends and colleagues. As a company, we are delighted that over 5% of our staff are now trained Mental Health First Aiders and we will continue offering our team as many resources and support options as possible”.

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