Surrey-based maritime charity, The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, has invested in new training for senior members of the team to help them identify mental health issues within the workforce and understand how best to support colleagues who might be struggling with their mental wellbeing.
Housekeeping Manager, Shirley Campbell and In-House Trainer, Sharon Hicks have recently been awarded with a Level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health after completing the training. Both Sharon and Shirley work at the charity’s nursing care home, Belvedere House, which delivers expert care to former seafarers and their dependants, including those living with neurological conditions such as dementia.
The training covered everything from understanding exactly what mental health is and potential triggers for those who struggle with their mental health, along with how to spot warning signs for specific mental health issues – whether it be depression, anxiety or other problems – and how best to care for staff who may be suffering in the workplace.
The stress of a global pandemic has taken its toll on the nation’s mental health. According to the Office for National Statistics, over two-thirds of adults (69%) said they were worried about the effect that coronavirus was having on their life and more than half (56%) said they felt stressed or anxious because of the current situation. Creating a caring and open culture is important to the Society and the management team wanted to ensure that staff are equipped to identify mental health problems amongst the team and that they have the correct procedures and support in place to help those who may be experiencing poor mental health as a result of the pandemic or other reasons.
Chief Executive of the charity, Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt OBE, said: “The wellbeing of not only our residents but also that of our staff is an integral part of The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society’s ethos. Working in a care home setting under ‘normal’ circumstances can sometimes be stressful, but care sector staff have been under immense pressure during the pandemic and have been going above and beyond to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents during this worrying time.
“We wanted to ensure we had proper training in place so that our senior management team have an enhanced awareness of mental health issues and that they are equipped with the skills needed to support our staff who mean so much to the home and its residents. Our goal is always to make sure our colleagues feel appreciated and supported in their working environment which is not only of huge importance to the team, but means we can maintain the high levels of care we provide for our residents. We hope to train many more staff in mental health in the workplace in the near future.”
Housekeeping Manager, Shirley Campbell said: “It’s fantastic to know that I now have the appropriate training to be able to properly support my staff. The last few months have shown us that our mental wellbeing is just as important as our physical health and something that should not be underestimated or overlooked.”
To find out more about the work of The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society visit the charity’s website (www.royalalfredseafarers.co.uk) where you can also read the Society’s ‘Covid Secure Risk Assessment’. To keep up to date with the latest news from the Society, follow and like the official Society Twitter (@RAseafarers) and Facebook pages.