Recently, Frontline Operations Director David Essam and Designate Business Manager Tom Hartree, became mental health first aiders, qualifying them to help internal and external staff.

Here, Tom tells us a little more about why this is so important to Frontline.

Why did you decide to undertake the course?
Mental Health is something that everyone has – just the same as physical health. If you didn’t have it you wouldn’t be human. So, to be able to look after our internal and temporary staff correctly its very important to have Mental Health First Aiders who can spot the signs of poor mental health just the same as a physical first aider can spot something wrong with someone’s physical health.

Have you had first-hand experience of dealing with mental health issues at work?
Many times! The hard thing is that it can take so many different forms. The first aid course is key to enable us to spot the not so obvious signs and to allow us to ask the right questions so that we can advise on what help to seek.

How has the move been welcomed by Frontline staff?
Everyone is very supportive and understands that it is such a big thing. It also means that they know where to go if they feel like they are having trouble.

How important do you think wellbeing at work is to the modern-day office?
It is one of if not the most important factor in a modern day business – and not even just an office. Morale is key. If your workforce is not happy and healthy how would you expect them to do the job to the best of there ability? It’s about creating a balance for home and work and also offering a clear and safe support network.

Do you think people realise how widespread mental health issues are in the workplace? What would your advice be to other companies who are considering going on a similar course?
Go into it with an open mind and deal with facts. Some people can be very open to it but others can be very sceptical. Mental health is very real and learning how to support staff by taking this course is invaluable. Remember: if you have health you have mental health – whether that be good or bad.