Interserve deploys 150 Mental Health First Aiders



Interserve Construction has deployed 150 specially-trained Mental Health First Aiders to support their colleagues as part of a national effort to tackle the impact of coronavirus.

Emma Millward (centre) with fellow Interserve Construction Mental Health First Aiders

The company’s Mental Health First Aiders have all been trained to MHFA England standards in supporting those struggling with their mental wellbeing which is especially important during the current COVID-19 crisis with many working from home or self-isolating.

With the virus heightening stress, anxiety and social isolation, Mental Health First Aiders at Interserve Construction are using their skills to support those struggling with their mental health by signposting them to the appropriate support, both in and outside of the workplace.

Neil Rosiak, HSE director at Interserve Construction, said: “One in four people are affected by a mental health condition at some point in their lives and nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional.

“At Interserve Construction we want to create a safe and healthy environment where people can access the help and support they need and through our network of 150 Mental Health First Aiders we help colleagues with mental health concerns, so they have a positive experience at work. People in need shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed to talk about any mental health concerns especially during Mental Health Awareness Week.”

Interserve Group Limited has also rolled out the innovative Thrive application to all of its colleagues in the UK and Ireland, who can download it for free. The app, provided by AXA PPP healthcare, helps users boost their mental wellbeing and manage their mood with clinically approved techniques including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Interserve also has a dedicated mental health support service on its MyInterserve online portal for colleagues.

Duncan Stephenson, deputy chief executive, Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), said: “This is an unprecedented period of anxiety for many people in the UK and the population’s mental health is paramount at this time.

“We know Mental health First Aiders provide excellent support in the workplace. It will be fantastic to see this work translated to community settings and remote working as we manage the mental health challenges associated with this outbreak.”

Emma Millward, regional marketing manager at Interserve Construction’s North West offices, said: “I volunteered to become a Mental health First Aiders because I am passionate about helping people and had a desire to break the stigma surrounding mental health.

“A close family member gave me an analogy comparing taking a tablet for depression to using a crutch when you break a leg, this really put it into perspective for me. It also seemed natural for me to take on the role as a number of colleagues and customers confide in me as they say that I am great listener.”

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