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Bespoke mental health training part of McCann’s Mental Wellbeing Support Strategy

Providing employees with the necessary tools to support their mental health and wellbeing in the workplace is crucial within the modern working world and McCann has recently invested in a significant mental health training programme, as part of the ongoing implementation of our Mental Wellbeing Support Strategy.

As a business, we recognise the importance of having effective mental wellbeing support, and have implemented numerous initiatives in recent years to support both our onsite and off site employees. Such initiatives have included regular touchpoints with line managers both in person and via Microsoft Teams, access to our Employee Assistance Programme, and overcoming the physical challenges of maintaining a sense of community and belonging following the shift towards more remote working.

As part of our mental health and wellbeing programme, we have recently invested in delivering more Mental Health First Aider courses while also developing bespoke Mental Health Champion  training, assisted by Skillbase First Aid.

The programme defines clear roles of Mental Health Leaders, Mental Health First Aiders and Mental Health Champions within the business, so that everyone’s mental wellbeing can be supported.

Our Head of Compliance, Ben Feltham, has been integral to the launch of the programme and sees its structure as the key to its success, ensuring that no one misses out on the support they need.

“By defining the three levels within the business, we’re able to provide an integrated cross-company support for everyone’s mental health and wellbeing,”

“Our Mental Health Champions attend a bespoke training course which ensures they are trained in spotting early signs that someone may be in emotional distress, when they have daily conversations and interactions with them. Our champions will usually be the first point of contact for employees experiencing poor mental health or emotional distress,”

“Our Mental Health First Aiders attend a two-day Mental Health England First Aider course and support employees and Champions across the business, while communicating the wide range of mental health resources that are available to our employees. And finally our Mental Health Leaders, who have also attended the Mental Health England First Aider course, are part of the leadership team and take on the additional responsibility of developing mental health policies and strategy within McCann, while ensuring that all employees and mental health ambassadors are supported appropriately across the business,”

“Both myself and our Head of HR and EDI, Lisa Topley, have volunteered to be McCann’s mental health leaders – so that we are not only supporting the company, but also each other,”

The recent two-day MHFA Training course welcomed employees from across the organisation, including Directors, Project Managers, office staff and Site Supervisors. Each undertook training on how to identify and approach someone in distress, listen and communicate non-judgmentally, offer support and information, encourage others and respond in a crisis.

Ben is excited to see how the Mental Health Ambassador Programme continues to evolve and understands its significance within the business following a recent McCann employee survey.

“Through our Mental Health Ambassadors Programme, we’re creating a highly visible and caring culture for our wellbeing vision which places as much emphasis on mental wellbeing as it does on physical wellbeing,” explains Ben.

“During a recent survey, we found that over 30% of employees felt that their mental health and wellbeing had been negatively affected by COVID-19,”

“We also found that over 83% of people felt that the company valued the importance of mental health and wellbeing, and over 80% knew who to turn to if they needed additional support. While these are high percentages, for us this is not high enough. As a company we want everyone to know that someone is always there for them, as well as how and where they can access what they need at any given time,”

Ben continues, “For employees, interactions with our ambassadors can range from a simple daily conversation through to developing bespoke wellness action plans. We’re proud of our caring culture where inappropriate attitudes to mental health are challenged and our people use their mental health knowledge to support themselves and others when poor mental health is experienced. In this way, our employees always feel supported, valued and cared for.”

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