MKM has launched a training program for staff seeking to become mental health workplace responders for their colleagues.
Part of the merchant’s wider work in tackling poor mental health in the construction sector, MKM is aiming to put more than 70 staff through the FAQ Level 2 Award in Mental Health Workplace Response qualification by April. Over 50 staff have already completed the course since November, which is run by St John’s Ambulance and St Andrew’s Ambulance.
Last year research conducted by the Office of National Statistics found that the number of suicides in the construction industry had risen from the previous year and was the highest it had been since 2015.
The course seeks to empower participants by giving them a comprehensive understanding of mental health conditions and episodes, tips on how to recognise poor mental health and how to offer appropriate support. The course also dispels some of the myths surrounding mental health and highlights some of the support services available.
Because of the ongoing mental health issues affecting the construction industry in the UK, qualified Mental Health Workplace Responders are a much-needed resource – able to provide initial support to colleagues in need.
Kerry Hunt, Learning and Development Business Partner at MKM, said: “It is important for the business that we have Mental Health Workplace Responders available to our teams at every level of the business, right across the country. We have branches from the north of Scotland right down to Kent and Cornwall, so it is key for us that every member of the team feels valued and knows how to access help and support, should they need it.
“The course does not aim to make people mental health practitioners or make them responsible for solving problems. This scheme allows MKM to take care of its staff and customers, as is in keeping with the ethos at MKM. Giving more people the training they need to become Mental Health Workplace Responders can help us tackle the sector’s mental health crisis in a positive and proactive way. I am enormously proud of everybody who has shown support and signed up to the scheme.”