Prioritising Wellbeing: Mental Health Awareness Week

09 May 2024

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we sat down with the Summit internal Mental Health First Aiders to discuss why it is important for businesses to provide mental health support to their employees.

Mental Health Awareness Week - Summits MHFA
Summits Internal Trained Mental Health First Aiders Julie Davies, Gareth Callow, Rebecca Evans, Luke Parsons, Joana Teixeira and Daniel Alders

In 2023, six members of the Summit Systems team from across departments qualified as Mental Health First Aiders, following a course provided by Mental Health First Aid England. By investing in Mental Health First Aid training, we're not only promoting good mental health among our employees but also creating a more productive and supportive workplace culture. We're committed to continuing to support the mental health of our team and hope that other employers will follow suit in creating a more supportive workplace culture for all employees.

Gareth Gallow highlights the crucial role that MHFA’s play: "It is essential that all employees have access to someone who they feel they can trust to talk to regarding any issues that affect their mental health. Just having someone to talk to can help the person to realise that there are people available who can help them."

When asked for volunteers to take the course, Daniel Alders had no hesitation in putting himself forward for the role: "Throughout my career, people have been able to open up to me. Becoming a MHFA simply gave me the tools to be able to point people in the right direction for help."

The Health and Safety of our employees remains paramount across all areas of the business, and this includes their mental health. "We provide very good initial mental health support, where we can refer individuals to qualified professionals outside of the business. Six Mental Health First Aiders are trained and available as a point of contact if a member of staff or someone they know is experiencing a mental health issue. While we are not therapists or psychiatrists, we can provide staff with initial support and then direct them to appropriate help where needed.”

When asked about their personal methods for maintaining their mental wellbeing, our First Aiders offered diverse approaches. Rebecca prioritises self-care with monthly massages, gym sessions, and breathwork. Gareth finds comfort in walks and music, while Julie emphasises the importance of exercise and quality time with loved ones. Daniel encourages open communication and finds comfort in regular sports and family time.

When asked whether they would recommend becoming a Mental Health First Aider to others, the Summit team unanimously encourages individuals to embrace the opportunity: "Go for it! If you feel you want to make a difference and you have the right skill set, then do it. You genuinely will be able to make a difference to someone's life."

As champions of mental health awareness, Summit Systems will continue to set a commendable example, nurturing a workplace culture where every individual's well-being is valued and supported.

If you are concerned that you are developing a mental health problem you should seek the advice and support of your GP as a matter of priority. If your business also have training Mental Health First Aiders, speak to someone as soon as possible and they will point you in the right direction. Talking is imperative when it comes to mental health, and it is important that you do not feel alone.