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Sharp smashes mental health stigma

October 1, 2018

The OEM’s British subsidiary, Sharp Business Systems UK, has been training its employees in mental health first aid.

Fifteen of the company’s employees completed the two-day course delivered by Mental Health First Aid England, reports Employee Benefits. The course is intended to educate participants in spotting symptoms of common mental health issues, and thus to recognise early signs that someone may be in need of help.

It also hopes to provide workers with the ability to provide colleagues with the initial support and guidance that they may need to either recover from or manage their condition.

Sharp employees from 11 of the OEM’s 13 regional offices took part in the training programme, which was co-organised by the British Safety Council. It was part of a continued campaign of mental health awareness for Sharp, following its participation in Mental Health Awareness Week back in May. In August, Product Marketing Manager Julian Hodges cycled from Oldham to Gibraltar, raising more than £32,000 ($40,650/€35,720) for charities including MIND in the process.

Further training courses, such as the MIND mental health for managers course, are planned for the future.

“In the UK, we are facing a mental health crisis and the statistics are quite shocking,” said Sharp Business Systems UK’s Head of HR, Sarah Coates. “Embedding an effective mental health first aid structure [in an organisation] is paramount to ensuring the mental wellbeing of a workforce. At Sharp we understand the importance of maintaining a healthy, happy workforce and the positive impact this can have on not just the obvious things like absence and productivity but also staff morale, engagement and creating a positive working environment. This is a significant investment in our people and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to their wellbeing.”

Business partner Hardeep Sanotra, who was one of the participants in the training, reflected that “the course was a real eye-opener. One thing that really stood out to me was how everyone was so open and honest to share their own experiences of mental health, which were quite sensitive. People’s stories were very inspirational.”

“One key learning I took away was about removing the stigma surrounding mental health and to stop being judgemental,” Sanotra added. “We need to continue to create an environment where we can encourage others to talk about their issues.”

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