Mental Health Mentoring Programme
What is it?
Darlington Mind’s Mental Health Mentoring Programme is an intensive two-day course covering eight modules including;
- Mental Health Awareness
What is Mental Health? How does Mental Health impact the workplace? Mental Health at work; the law
Recognising the signs and symptoms. How to help somebody with anxiety
Recognising the signs and symptoms. How to help somebody with depression
What is Stress? When does it become a problem? Stress reduction techniques
- Confidence, Self Esteem & Assertiveness
Building confidence. Boosting self- esteem. Being more assertive
- Lifestyle Choices
How does diet, sleep and exercise impact mental health? Mindfulness. Five Ways to Wellbeing
What support is available at work? What support is available outside of work?
- The Role as a Mental Health Mentor
What you can do to help others. Knowing your limitations
Why should I train (or train my staff) to be a Mental Health Mentor?
This knowledge enables the individual to be a Mental Health Mentor for your workplace or organisation.
The individual will be able to;
- provide first level support to employees
- know what support they can offer the individual themselves
- know when, how and where to seek additional support
Having a named Mental Health Mentor in your workplace means that employees feel valued and know that their employer is considering the importance of their emotional and mental wellbeing. It gives employees a named individual who they can turn to for support in the workplace, enabling them to seek support as soon as it is needed.
How is this different to the other support structures in place within my workplace?
Mental Health Mentoring is a valuable addition to other support structures such as EAP and Occupational Health teams. Support from colleagues and line managers is vital in helping people to manage distress or mental illness at work. In a 2008 report commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions it was confirmed that many people admit to feeling uncomfortable about working with people with mental health symptoms, and that lack of understanding may lead to people being denied promotion or access to training. Even if work colleagues and friends are open and supportive to someone with mental health problems, they may be unsure of how to deal with someone who is particularly distressed or going through a crisis.
It was also suggested in this report that Occupational Health workers have less knowledge of mental health problems than of physical illness and are therefore not as well equipped to advise others about managing it. Mental Health Mentoring is a way of training managers to recognise mental distress and respond in a supportive way that does not necessitate exclusion from the workplace.
We suggest that organisations train around 10% of their workforce to be named Mental Health Mentors. Employees should be made aware of who their Mental Health Mentors are within the workplace and given the opportunity to contact them directly on a confidential basis, without the need for a formal intervention or referral. This enables employees to feel comfortable to access support in a safe way without judgement or impact on their job role, the fear of which we know can prevent people from accessing more formal methods of support (such as via their EAP or Occupational Health department or approaching a line manager).
Who else is using Mental Health Mentors in their workplace?