How Swim England supports staff mental health

Jenny Green
Jenny Green

People Development Partner, Swim England

We have always utilised opportunities such as World Mental Health Day to encourage people to talk about mental health and reach out for support when needed. Our CEO is a long-serving Samaritan so is always happy to address our people on mental health initiatives and the importance of listening to and supporting each other.

We found ourselves needing external advice in supporting an employee

In summer 2017 we found ourselves needing external advice in supporting an employee in severe distress who required our intervention, so we contacted Mind Mind Mind provides advice and support on mental health, and campaigns to improve understanding, across England and Wales. View organisation. Close support and monitoring was also required in supporting them to return to and remain at work. Promoting workplace wellbeing was already on our people agenda but this experience led us to prioritise implementing some valuable wellbeing tools and training.

As a result of guidance received from Mind, we then launched the Mind Wellness Actions Plans​Guides to wellness action plans Web page Wellness action plans are an easy way to help support your own mental health at work and that of your team members. Mind has guidance and templates to get you started, for both employees and line managers.FreeSign up to receive by e-mail By: Mind View resource. We recommended all employees completed one with their line manager. We received some great feedback from those who had used them and one of our department heads decided to share theirs with their entire team to inspire them to talk about their own mental health. As a People Development team, we encourage all those that come to us for wellbeing advice and guidance to complete a WAP. We also use the wellbeing section of our team e-guide to signpost people to WAPs, along with our employee assistance programme.

Although training line managers is invaluable, we also saw the value in providing resilience training to all of our team members

We also identified the need to train our line managers in supporting employees who approach them about mental health issues and felt that the Mind Managing Mental Health at Work training​Mind’s training and consultancy Web page Mind offers a variety of training courses to suit a wide range of organisational needs. They can help to promote mental wellbeing in your organisation and at home.Paid forRequires pre-booking By: Mind View resource best suited our needs. Initially we piloted this session with a group of line managers who had team members that they were currently supporting with their mental health. Due to the great feedback received we then rolled this out to all of our line managers and will continue to do so with new line managers. Although training line managers in having conversations around wellbeing is invaluable, we also saw the value in providing resilience training to all of our team members. These training sessions are currently running monthly until July. Alongside this we also trained our People Development Team and First Aiders in Mental Health First Aid​Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England workplace training Web page Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England offers a variety of training for employers across the UK. This workplace course will qualify you as a Mental Health First Aider.Paid forRequires pre-booking By: Mental Health First Aid England View resource, who are now our Wellbeing Champions Group.

We have seen a significant increase in our team members looking out for each other

This set the wheels in motion for our team members to be much more open to discussing mental health in the workplace. Since the above actions have been implemented we have seen a significant increase in our team members looking out for each other and checking in with each other from a wellbeing perspective. As a People Development Team we are regularly alerted to concerns about others’ wellbeing, which is great to see and allows us to signpost people to useful resources early on when a change is noticed in their wellbeing.

Moving forwards we are excited about our partnership with Mind as an operational partner on the Get Set to Go campaign. We have signed up to the Sport and Recreational Alliance’s Mental Health Charter​The Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation Website Sport and recreation organisations can sign up to the Mental Health Charter to make a commitment to take positive action around mental health. You pledge three initial actions—and there are samples and templates to get you going.Free By: Sport and Recreation Alliance View resource which will see us promoting wellbeing across the sport and to all who come into contact with it.

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