The Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site has launched a new Mental Health Wellbeing Champions training scheme.
It is hoped the scheme will equip staff with the knowledge and skills to approach someone who appears to be struggling and to be able to help them to access the right support.
Studies* have shown that one in 4 people will have mental ill-health during any 12-month period. Despite this, less than half of those affected feel confident to share their condition with anyone.
Mental ill-health is rarely talked about openly. Staff in organisations are more likely to tell their manager that they are off work due to a cold or a headache than because they are suffering with anxiety or stress.
“The happiness of our workers is of the utmost importance here at Blenheim,” said Megan Carter, Head of Human Resources.
“We recognise mental health is still a difficult subject for many and we see the importance of incorporating it into everyday conversations and raising awareness so that people feel they are in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
“Our mental health champions are another point of contact other than HR and line managers who can advise on where to turn to and what channels they can take.
“Mental health is just as important as physical health and there needs to be a shift in attitudes towards this. Our mental health champions are one way of raising awareness, they promote initiatives and work confidentially with employees.
“We also have a mental health and wellbeing policy which demonstrates our commitment to mental health and our attitude of: ‘It’s ok not to be ok!’. We are here to support and understand, and most importantly not to judge, we are all human after all,” she added.
Mental ill-health covers a range of different conditions, ranging from stress, anxiety, OCD, depression to schizophrenia and personality disorders.
*Mental Health statistics taken from: https://peoplefirst.nhsbt.nhs.uk/news/mental-health-wellbeing-champions/60890