10 October 2019
Anchor Hanover launch Mental Health e-learning course
In celebration of World Mental Health Day, we are happy to announce that we have launched a new e-learning course, ‘Mental Health at Work’, to all colleagues.
This course aims to help colleagues take time to consider their mental health and that of those around them. It will also be recommended to new colleagues as part of their induction.
For too long there has been a culture of fear and silence when it comes to mental health but with 1 in 6 of us dealing with a mental health problem like anxiety, depression or stress, many people are gaining the courage to talk more openly about their struggles with mental health. Much like Brian Golton, Head of Repairs at Anchor Hanover.
Diagnosed with Bipolar at forty-six after years of manic episodes, Brian welcomes the launch of our new e-learning course.
"The more learning we have the better we understand mental health issues; whether that be our own situation or that of our colleagues. Catching mental health problems early is important. It allows us to use simple, but effective, coping strategies to make sure we stay well."
Brian believes it's important that we talk about mental health at work because they are both inextricably linked.
"I find it impossible to effectively split how I am at work or at home. For years I tried to hide my feelings. Being open about living with Bipolar allows me to be who I am; share my thoughts and feelings in a supportive open atmosphere. This makes it easier to manage my condition and live life to the full."
Having spent much of his early career moving from job to job, Brian says he found a work-life balance with Anchor Hanover.
"I had worked as an interim manager for 14 years, changing jobs every 12-24 months. Finding a permanent post was a conscious decision as part of the plan to manage my mental health. Having had poor experiences in the past I was cautious about choosing an employer. I worked initially as an interim manager and found Anchor Hanover welcoming, open, respectful and supportive so I joined permanently. I had a wobble earlier this year and the Anchor Hanover team has been supportive in me adjusting my working pattern and style. All of this has allowed me to achieve a better work-life balance, manage my mental health and enjoy living life."
In addition to the e-learning course, throughout 2019/20 Anchor Hanover will also be training 80 Mental Health First Aiders, and all line managers will receive Mental Health First Aid Champion training. This is designed by Mental Health First Aid England and aims to equip them with the knowledge to advocate for mental health awareness and to give them the skills to support positive wellbeing in their colleagues.
According to statistics by the charity Mind 56 per cent of employers said they would like to do more to improve staff wellbeing but don't feel they have the right training or guidance. With the roll out of this mental health support and upskilling, we hope to break this cycle.
All Anchor Hanover colleagues also have access to a range of highly experienced consultants, including counsellors, psychotherapists, solicitors and financial experts through a free, anonymous 24/7 Colleague Assistance Programme. The associated app is also being downloaded onto all company mobile phones, ensuring this support is easily accessible whenever colleagues face challenges in their professional or personal lives.
When it comes to speaking up when struggling with mental health, an Anchor Hanover colleague urges others to step forward.
"Don’t be afraid or ashamed to speak up. Anchor Hanover is an inclusive organisation and I’ve found my managers to be really understanding. If I’ve needed support I’ve known where to go to get it.
"It is important that we talk about mental health at work because if we don’t talk about it, nothing will change. Almost everyone will be affected by mental health issues at some point in their life – either personally, or through relationships with family, friends, or partners, so it’s key that everyone knows the warning signs, and that everyone feels empowered to speak up if they are."