Mental Health First Aiders at Exemplar Health Care
22 May 2020
Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) provide mental health advice and support to colleagues across our 32 homes and central offices. This Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re sharing some on the ways that they’ve made a difference and saying a big thank you to our 33-strong team.
Working in social care can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be stressful, which is why Exemplar Health Care is committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our colleagues.
One of the ways that we do this is through our team of Mental Health First Aiders.
All of our homes and central offices have access to a Mental Health First Aider who is trained to offer mental health advice and support, which includes being there to listen and signposting to appropriate help.
Alan Dalzell, Mental Health Nurse Consultant at Exemplar Health Care, says: “Supporting mental health is important because it helps people to feel more healthy, motivated and focused, which can improve productivity and effectiveness at work, as well as in their home and social life.
“It’s really important that our colleagues know that they have someone to talk to, and that we’re here to support them if they have any mental health issues. In some cases, it could be the difference between staying in work and leaving employment.”
Making a difference
Over the past year, our Mental Health First Aiders have supported over 250 colleagues through their role, as well as providing informal advice to many more in their workplace - and they’ve made a massive difference to many of our colleagues’ lives.
One Mental Health First Aider shared: “We give time to people so they can talk and let things out. We don't try to fix things – most of the time, just listening, guiding and being there with someone is helpful in itself. I'm here to talk when a staff member needs someone to listen - this opens the door without pressuring someone to share on the spot.”
Another told us about the impact that their support has had: “The staff I have supported have thanked me for the advice and the signposting to additional support. The staff member said they would not have known who to speak to in the past regards their pressing situation. They stated that the support offered and received from the Mental Health First Aider had stopped them from leaving the company as they realised how supportive Exemplar Health Care is.”
This year, we’re funding another cohort of learners to ensure that 100% of our homes and offices have direct access to a Mental Health First Aider. The course includes learning about mental health and the factors that affect wellbeing, spotting the triggers and signs of mental health issues, reassuring and supporting someone in distress and developing enhanced interpersonal skills.
Supporting colleague health and wellbeing
Our robust health and wellbeing programme also includes access to a 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme, online mindfulness training and coaching, as well as our dedicated ‘We Care’ package of support during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Careers at Exemplar Health Care
If you or someone you know is interested in working in health and social care, Exemplar Health Care offers a range of rewarding careers. Find out more about your career opportunities and our vacancies here.