Mental Health Awareness Week 13-19 May.

Spotlighting NTS Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs)

Our MHFA’s provide confidential support to colleagues and guide them towards accessing professional assistance to help with any financial, social, physical and emotional wellbeing issues.

The MHFAs are all volunteers who have trained to achieve the First Aid Award Level 2 (RQF) in First Aid for Mental Health. They are required to re-qualify every three years. Posters on noticeboards at each branch have their names and contact details.

Sharon Nicholls, Operations Manager at NTS Catterick, is one of four MHFAs at the site.

Sharon said: “Being a mental health first aider involves ensuring colleagues know that ‘your door is always open’ for confidential, and sometimes emotional, support.

“This can mean putting your daily role temporarily on hold and prioritising the immediate need for time to listen when a colleague is in need of help.”

The team at Catterick has worked with mental health charity Mind to raise awareness of mental health issues too.

Simon Davidson, Chief Executive of Mind, Darlington, commented: “I was involved in a face-to-face briefing session with all team leaders at NTS Catterick last year.

“I was impressed by how incredibly supportive and committed the NTS Catterick team are to the mental health wellbeing of their employees.”

The NTS employee assistance programme is available 24/7, 365 days a year for all colleagues giving direct access to accredited counsellors offering confidential specialist support.

As part of National Timber Group, NTS also promotes the Golden Principles which are a group-wide initiative raising awareness of the different aspects that contribute to a healthy and safe workplace. Three of these which include mental health awareness are ‘Care’, ‘Speak Out’ and ‘Health’.

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