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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Mental Health First Aid programme for EPC-UK staff

EPC-UK Mental Health First Aid

Company partners with Mental Health First Aid England to expand training for better mental health

FURTHERING their commitment to supporting better mental health in the workplace, commercial explosives specialists EPC-UK have launched a new course, in conjunction with MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) England, to allow participants to qualify as ‘Mental Health First Aiders’.

With the national Mental Health at Work 2018 Report making public that one-in-three members of the UK workforce is formally diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lives, EPC-UK have committed to actively encouraging ‘talking’, ‘training’ and ‘taking action’ in a move to better support staff and improve industry awareness and understanding.

The report, conducted by YouGov, surveyed more than 4,000 people and was devised to encourage employers to raise awareness and ‘take action’, to better support good mental health and well-being at work.

The study found that 61% of employees have experienced mental health issues due to work or within situations where work was a related factor.

More positively, however, it highlighted that 60% of employees feel their line manager is genuinely concerned for their well-being (compared with 55% in 2016) and 45% of employees believe that their organization does well in supporting those with mental health issues (40% in 2016).

EPC-UK have, for more than three years, promoted their Esprit d’equipe initiative, a combination of working values that encourage a culture of ‘looking out for each other’ at every level of the organization.

Helping to support its principles, the company has started conducting the new course in partnership with MHFA England. EPC-UK intend to uphold the values of their initiative by providing training that: offers an in-depth understanding of mental health dynamics and the factors that can affect well-being; provides practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues; develops staff confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress; and teaches enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening.

The training also provides participants with the knowledge to help someone to recover their health by guiding them to further support – whether that is through self-help resources, their employer, the NHS, or a combination of these.

Ben Williams, EPC-UK’s managing director, explained: ‘I have had first-hand experience of interacting with a variety of mental health issues and recognize my own shortcomings in dealing with the myriad of potential root causes in the person affected. I know I’m not alone in this, which is why it makes sense that as EPC-UK, we develop the necessary competencies to deal with such issues and support our whole workforce.

‘This is not only a core value for us, helping to make our business fully sustainable, but also a moral responsibility to provide our employees with a working environment which fosters practices that support without judgement.

‘I am very proud of the positive way all our employees have responded to this new Mental Health First Aid programme and their continued spirit of looking out for each other. It is becoming infectious and we are all developing a passion for it, which makes for a safe, understanding and promising future.’

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