Cake baking was the order of the day for staff at Shropshire Homes as they turned out in force to support World Mental Health Day.
Everyone, from site workers through to office staff, wore yellow to mark the annual event, which this year focused on suicide prevention. The event raised £300, and this was match-funded by Shropshire based roofing contractors Roofrite. Colleagues at Shropshire Homes then went on to raise a further £100 bringing the total donation to the mental health charity MIND to £700.
The event followed on from a course that 47 members of the team at Shropshire Homes had attended to become mental health first aiders. The course trained staff to spot the signs that employees may be having mental health, psychological or emotional difficulties. One of those on the course was Katherine Crosby, who works in the company’s purchasing department. She said it was interesting to learn all the different ways that people cope with mental health problems.
“We didn’t just learn about the range of issues that people struggle with, but also the different ways they cope with it,” she said. “Everyone copes differently, and this was something I hadn’t thought about before. The course will make us all have a more considerate outlook, so we can assess people’s behaviour and actions with more thought and compassion.
“The event for World Mental Health Day was great as we raised money for MIND by wearing yellow and having a cake sale. Everyone brought in food and we had a social lunch together – feeling like you are part of a close-knit, supportive team is positive for everyone’s mental health. We all know it is important to feel secure, safe and comfortable at work.”
Shropshire Homes has also created a new company policy in relation to mental health, and posters and support material have been placed around the office and on-site giving more information. Managing director Howard Thorne said: “Mental health issues are common in modern society and affect many employees and managers in workplaces. However, we know that people with mental health issues make valuable contributions to the success of any organisation, and so providing them with assistance supports their ongoing health and employment. By having mental health first aiders in place across the organisation we are promoting awareness and tolerance while encouraging a positive attitude towards mental health issues. Being there to listen will allow our new first aiders to help those with mental health issues to not just cope at work, but fulfil their full potential.”