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March 13, 2019

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Mental Health

SOCOTEC tackles workplace mental health

Testing, inspection and compliance services provider SOCOTEC is tackling mental ill health in the workplace with the provision of mental health first aid for employees.

SOCOTEC tackles workplace mental healthAt any given time, across England and Wales, one worker in six is said to be experiencing depression, anxiety or other stress related problems. Mental ill health can strike at any time and can affect people from all walks of life. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is designed to teach how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis.

To help address mental ill health needs within SOCOTEC UK, three members of the HR team have recently undergone MHFA training, helping them to recognise crucial warning signs of mental ill health and feel confident to guide someone to appropriate support.

Kim Chapman, HR Business Partner explained: “According to the HSE, in 2017/18 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health. Our role as a MHFA is not to make a medical diagnosis, but to be a point of contact for an employee who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress.

“This interaction could range from having an initial conversation through to supporting the person to get appropriate help. We are not trained to be therapists or psychiatrists, but we can offer initial support through non-judgemental listening and guidance.”

Ian Sparks, CEO, SOCOTEC UK, said: “Although things are improving, stigma still exists around mental ill health. As a society, we don’t tend to know how to take care of our mental health like we do our physical health.

“As a responsible employer it is important to us to support those employees who may be suffering with mental ill health, in the same way as we support those who are suffering with a physical illness.

“Recognising mental ill health and providing training to help those affected will encourage us to talk freely about mental health, reducing stigma and creating a more positive culture throughout the business.”


The recent SHP Mind Matters series, produced in collaboration with The Healthy Work Company, features a series of videos featuring people speaking candidly about their personal experiences with mental ill health…


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Arguably one of the best-known rugby players in the world, Jonny Wilkinson CBE famously kicked the drop goal that won England the 2003 World Cup with just seconds left in the final. Much of Jonny’s success on the field, however, took its psychological toll. Jonny has dealt with depression, anxiety and panic attacks. In his honest, unguarded speech, entitled ‘Success on the field and mental health: a personal account of understanding what matters’, Jonny will recount how his focus and dedication to the sport he loves meant overlooking important parts of his life.

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Jonny Wilkinson

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