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Mental Health Awareness Week: EMA’s approach to mental health within the workplace
Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week

From 10th-16th May, Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place across the UK, a week which aims to raise awareness of mental health and promote good mental health for all. 

For EMA Patient Transport, mental health awareness is an all-yearlong campaign, and we are delighted to have integrated a strategy within our own organisation to ensure our staff’s mental health is supported at all times. 

As we enter the upcoming official “Mental Health Awareness Week”, we thought there was no better time to discuss the support we have in place and highlight our great team of Mental Health First Aiders; James, Clare and Sheanna.   
Here our HR & Compliance Manager, Rebecca Bamford provides an insight into the strategy we have in place: 

“As a private ambulance service, one of our services being the provision of transport to patients experiencing mental health and requiring admission to hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983, our staff are working with acutely unwell people on a daily basis.

Whilst the safety and wellbeing of the EMA crew has always been high on the agenda within the company and support and reassurance is constantly provided, we wanted to put in place a more formal approach to ensure our own staff’s mental health.

Supporting staff is of the highest importance within EMA and we understand the importance of providing support not just for mental ill health, but for mental health in general. 

So, we bought this to the forefront of EMA’s “planning ahead” strategy and created a cohesive wellbeing strategy within EMA which aligns with our brand values and current business objectives.”

Whilst the frequency of mental health problems is well documented statistically, it is Mind (the charity for which Paul Farmer is the Chief Executive) who advised in their 2017 Mental Health: Facts and Statistics factsheet that figures need to be treated with caution. Please see here

Part of the reason for this is the amount of people who experience mental health but who do not come forward.

To ensure our staff have all of the avenues of support available and feel comfortable in discussing any issues they may be having with their mental health, we have introduced three new Mental Health First Aiders within the organisation, with more staff undergoing training in the summer.  

These staff sit on our Wellness Committee and have received training to: 
  • Spot early signs of mental ill-health
  • Listen to what people are saying without judgement
  • Know when to contact the emergency services (if it is required)
  • Care for their own physical safety and mental wellbeing
  • Know how to start a conversation with someone who may be experiencing emotional or mental ill-health
  • Encourage people to use additional support that is available, including internal and external support systems

This is a development that we are immensely proud of and we are looking forward to continuing to develop our strategy and provide training to more staff over the coming year.

Mental Health Awareness Week is a great time for organisations to really look at the support avenues they currently have in place for their staff and consider how they can make improvements to offer even greater support. 

We hope through sharing our experience and approach, we can provide some insight and inspiration to others. 

To find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week, check out the website Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 

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