PwC the leading professional services firm, has launched a pilot scheme in Bradford to deliver mental health training into schools with the aim of helping staff to better identify and help staff and students who may be struggling with stress related issues.
Supported by Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), PwC will be working alongside Mental Health First Aid England, a social enterprise with a vision to improve the mental health of the nation.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) are the largest mental health training provider in the UK and Europe, with over ten years of experience supporting businesses to create and sustain healthier workplaces.
Creating cultural change in an organisation is a complex task that requires a multi-tiered approach, which MHFA’s experts are positioned to support. By working with over 20,000 employers MHFA know that each organisation's culture is unique. The key to creating a mentally healthy environment is about truly understanding the people within it – their attitudes, behaviours and learning needs.
Quality mental health training, underpinned by a robust wellbeing strategy, gives people the tools to keep themselves healthy and support each other. It can also help to:
● Build employees’ confidence to have open conversations around mental health and break the stigma
● Encourage people to access support early when needed, for a faster recovery
● Empower people with a long-term mental health issue or disability to thrive in work
● Promote a mentally healthy environment, stopping preventable issues and allowing people to thrive and become more productive
● Embed a long-term positive culture across the whole organisation, where employees recognise their mental and physical health are supported as equal parts of the whole person
PwC delivered the pilot programme through specially trained instructors over a two day period for 13 members of staff from 11 different schools in Bradford with the aim of creating MFHA champions giving them:
● Knowledge and confidence to provide Mental Health First Aid for the most common mental health issues
● An understanding of how to help build a mentally healthy workplace, challenge stigma and support positive wellbeing
Sean Maywood, PwC ICW Team and Mental Health First Aid Instructor commented:
“We are piloting the training in Bradford for staff in schools to help them to be able to look out for the mental health of other teachers and school staff.
We know stress, mental health and wellbeing are big issues within schools and the training links to our wider schools engagement programme both in Bradford and nationally. That focuses on reaching disadvantaged secondary school students supporting them with a wide range of skills development, financial literacy and resilience.”
PwC works closely with the LEP through the Cornerstone Employer programme to strategically influence education. The LEP played an integral part in introducing local schools to the mental health training.
Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chairman of the LEP and NP11 said:
“Good mental health and wellbeing is an important factor inbuilding a stronger workforce and I’m pleased to see PwC taking action to support local teachers and young people to become more aware of mental health issues and to learn vital coping mechanisms which can really make a difference to not only their own lives, but their student’s lives too.
To see such a strong take up of the mental health training delivered by PwC amongst our local schools is fantastic and I’d like to encourage more schools to take on similar training and help our young people to be happy, healthy and motivated students, preparing them for their future career.”
Attendees said of the of the course:
"Fantastic course, should be offered to all schools/businesses.etc as many unaware how those with mental health issues really feel or are coping. Great to raise awareness, reduce stigma and encourage active listening and understanding."
"I thought the course was absolutely brilliant. Mental health has always been a grey area for me and probably something I have been scared of to be totally honest and something I did not fully understand. It was a course I would never have put myself forward for but I am glad I attended as I think I will find it very useful in my job and it was very interesting and I feel I have learnt a lot."
"I would recommend this course to everyone so they can get a better understanding of not only their own mental health but others as well. It’s a great way to try and beat the stigma around Mental health. It’s also a great way to meet others, share stories and also ask for advice."
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