Accounting and business advisory firm HURST is teaming up with a charity founded by former rugby league players to kick off a mental fitness initiative for its staff.
The initiative at HURST follows a review by partner and head of practice development Simon Brownbill, who is also among staff members to train as a mental health first-aider.
In April, HURST will be running an event for its team focusing on the importance of mental fitness.
It will be staged in partnership with State of Mind Sport, which was founded in 2011 by former RL players who had each faced their own mental health challenges.
HURST is also planning an event to encourage a more active workplace.
Simon said: “There are proven links between active, healthy workplaces and good mental health.
“People in all roles and at all stages of life can be affected by mental health issues. We have strong values and want to ensure the wellbeing of our people by being able to support colleagues who may be affected, as well as to help tackle the stigma associated with mental health.
“However, this initiative is much broader than that. We want to look at how we can all become more resilient and positive, which we hope in turn will reduce the chance of colleagues requiring more acute support.”
Simon, along with HURST manager Katie Waud and payroll team member Siouan Oliver, has undertaken training with St John Ambulance. He has become a qualified mental health first-aider and Katie and Siouan have become mental health champions.
All three have now qualified to help colleagues and signpost them for further support if required.
Simon said: “As well as being the right thing to do, there are a number of benefits for the business as a whole, including better productivity and a reduction in sickness.”
Katie said: “The training was really insightful. The reality is that, in this day and age, people are more likely to require mental health first aid than physical first aid.”
HURST has invested heavily in physical first aid and in 2016 became one of the first office-based businesses in Stockport to install and train staff to use a defibrillator.