Redwood Bank marked Mental Health Awareness Week with the appointment of two new internal Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA).
The Challenger Bank also staged a series of events to boost colleague wellbeing, putting the mental health of its team firmly in the spotlight.
Colleagues were also given the opportunity to join drop-in sessions organised by the Bank to discuss any issues they may be facing.
Workshop staged by charity
In addition, a mental health workshop for more than 30 team members was delivered by the creative mental health charity, PoetsIN.
Colleagues listened to a motivational talk which focussed on mental health experiences, the language used around mental health and how to manage stress using simple and fun techniques.
The charity’s Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Paul Chambers, said: “It is really encouraging to see organisations such as Redwood Bank taking proactive steps to support their staff and keep mental health top of the agenda, so it is something that is recognised by all employees. It was fantastic to work with Redwood on such an important issue and to be able to share practical, meaningful ways to help staff.”
Mental Health First Aiders
In their new roles as MHFAs, Rebecca Miller and Alex Wilson will be on hand to spot the signs if a member of the Redwood team may need support, offering them help where needed and signposting them to relevant organisations.
Rebecca said her own experiences of mental health issues means she knows how important it is that people get the right support at the right time.
She said: “I have seen how much my friends, family and colleagues have struggled with mental health in this pandemic, and I genuinely just want to help them in any way I can. I think it is important to be able to support people when they need help with their mental health. I have experience in listening to and supporting relatives, from working at the Garden House Hospice.”
Alex agreed that experience of mental health issues provides a unique insight when it comes to supporting others, saying: “I have dealt with my own mental health issues in the past, so my background makes me an ideal candidate for this role. I feel I am an approachable individual and I currently help my elder brother in a support role after his stroke.”
Tracey Lester, Head of HR and a Mental Health First Aider herself, said: “Ensuring that staff are well supported and understood underpins the success of an organisation like Redwood. Our staff wellbeing is central to all that we do, and the introduction of initiatives such as having our own Mental Health First Aiders builds on measures we already have in place.”
The Bank offers all colleagues the opportunity to join Unum LifeWorks, a confidential employee assistance programme which provides support to them and their immediate family, offering personal support, referrals to local and older care resources, confidential consultation and education, and information resources.
Colleagues were also reminded of the triage service for mental health conditions provided through the Bank’s partnership with BUPA and its provision of private medical health information.