CDS, Drax 360 and GENEX announce first cohort of mental health first aiders

Posted: 26.01.2023

A group of CDS, GENEX and Drax 360 colleagues have become mental health first aiders – with the aim of ensuring fellow team members are assured of wellbeing support.

Around ten colleagues took part in a two-day face-to-face training course run by Mental Health First Aid England to help them spot signs of mental distress and learn the skills and confidence to step in, offer reassurance and understand the best way to help them.

Taking part in the course is one of a number of ways CDS, GENEX and Drax 360 are ensuring employees feel confident about discussing their problems without fear of judgement or discrimination, and knowing they will be offered professional support if they need it.

Among those taking part in the training were Drax 360 director Glenn Grant, GENEX technical account manager Mohammad Iqbal and CDS resourcing and retention manager Aleesha Heathcote.

Aleesha said she found the course invaluable, and that it gave her far more understanding of how to spot if someone is going through a tough time mentally. It has also has given her the confidence to initiate a chat to see how she can help out.

“I now feel like I would be able to run through the support process confidentially,” she said.

And she believes taking part in the course not only helps employees, but also gives out signals that the company cares about the wellbeing of its team.

“I think it’s a very positive move in the right direction. Its brilliant that all our line managers now have improved awareness of mental health issues. Due to completing the course, managers now have the knowledge of how to deal with employees suffering from poor mental health. It’s great that we’re taking proactive measures to enhance the wellbeing of the staff. These include one-to-one check ins. All mental health first aiders’ details have been sent across to the CDS group, so employees know where to go if they want to discuss something or are suffering. I myself have regular check ins with all employees to make sure any issues are addressed.

“I think other companies would really benefit from taking part in this course. In too many organisations employees feel like they don’t have any support or anyone to communicate their feelings to.”

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