Seventeen members of the CMS Window Systems workforce have successfully trained as mental health first aiders by completing the ground-breaking Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA) course.
Staff from throughout the business came together to complete the 12-hour SMHFA course by NHS Health Scotland, which teaches important skills for providing help to people experiencing thoughts of suicide or mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and psychosis. The training was organised as part of a wider programme to improve wellbeing within the organisation and give mental health the same support framework as physical health and safety.
Mental health first aiders provide an initial response to distress prior to professional help can being found. The knowledge presented and understanding developed in the SMHFA course helps to remove stigma and fear by giving confidence to individuals to approach a colleague in distress. By completing the SMHFA course, the seventeen CMS employees have developed their awareness of attitudes towards and understanding of mental health, the recovery message, listening skills and how to offer first aid to someone experiencing a problem.
David Ritchie, CEO of CMS Window Systems said: “Awareness of mental health in the workplace is thankfully increasing right across the building and manufacturing industries, but we must continue to look for ways to reduce the enormous harm that mental health problems can cause. That’s why the SMHFA programme is so important and it is tremendous to see so many volunteers from across our organisation choose to develop the skills needed to identify the early signs of mental health problems amongst their colleagues.”