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Park Group joins forces with Sale Sharks to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace

Wirral-based Park Group has partnered with the community arm of Premiership Rugby side Sale Sharks in a bid to champion mental health awareness and wellbeing across the business.

More than 30 members of staff at Park Group – the UK’s leading provider of prepaid gift cards, multi-retailer gift vouchers and digital rewards services – attended the ‘Balls to That’ session at the company’s Birkenhead headquarters.

Afghanistan army veteran Craig Monaghan spent time on site educating staff about what they can do to support one another and make improvements to their own mental health.

The programme – which is provided for free to businesses across Merseyside and the wider North West region – also aims to help business leaders recognise how they can better support their staff in both their working and private lives.

“Balls to That” Project Officer Craig suffered from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and attempted to take his own life following his medical discharge from the army.

As part of the free session, he talked about his ongoing mental health challenges, what he’s doing to overcome them and his journey from the battlefield to the England Deaf Rugby side.

“Mental health shouldn’t be a taboo subject, and we’re keen to create an environment at Park that enables people to open up about it, but also to recognise the signs – for themselves and for others”, said Rachael Lees, Group HR Manager at Park.

“The Community Trust team at Sale Sharks were fantastic and the ‘Balls to That’ session was really well received by the team.”

Speaking after the session, Craig said: “It’s so inspiring to come to companies like Park, who are prepared to open up about mental health and provide support to staff in all the ways they can. They’re such an engaged team and it was great to see the genuine impact this project can have on people first hand. It really can shape lives and challenge perceptions.

“If we can help more people recognise their own difficulties and identify the signs and symptoms, then we hope the programme really does make a difference.”