Leeds based digital marketing agency, Search Laboratory, is leading the way in mental wellbeing, with the launch of mental health first aid training for over half of its team. Having discovered that 106,000 people suffer from mental health disorders in Leeds each year – accounting for 22% of the city’s population, the company has placed mental wellbeing at the top of its business agenda by investing in mental health first aid training for 50% of its 130-strong team.
The training covered subjects like ‘how to spot signs of mental health issues’ and ‘confidence to step in when a person is in distress’ and is part of an ongoing commitment from Search Laboratory to support positive mental health in the workplace. The move from the leading digital marketing agency supports its signing of the Mental Health Charter in July last year – a register of employers that commit to focusing on prioritising employees’ mental health.
Search Laboratory offers a number of benefits for employees to help promote good mental and physical health including: free gym membership, free food if you walk or cycle to work, free access to a SimplyHealth cash plan and free counselling sessions.
Renae Shaw, Head of HR said: “The mental health of employees is just as important as their physical health. We wouldn’t ignore someone with a broken leg, so we shouldn’t ignore mental illness either. We believe it’s important to adopt a holistic approach when supporting staff – we offer initiatives like free fruit, free gym memberships and private counselling, but these sit within a wider strategy; where manager approach, staff attitudes and the working culture all play a massive role.
“We want to help everyone fulfil their potential, and make sure the working environment doesn’t add to any difficulties our employees might face. By providing Mental Health First Aid training, we hope staff and managers will feel more equipped to have the right conversations, whilst we as a company will continue to review our culture and practices. We want to make sure staff feel they can speak out without fear of being treated differently or in an unsympathetic way”.
Zoe Schofield, Content and Online Project Manager completed the mental health first aid training and commented on the experience: “Mental health is something that affects us either personally, or through family, friends or colleagues. The MHFA training allowed us to understand mental health and the factors that can impact both our own and other people’s wellbeing, and spot the signs that someone may be struggling with their mental health. Undertaking the training means that I can properly support my colleagues and help to create an atmosphere where people are comfortable to open up.”