In the dynamic landscape of today’s business world, the well-being of employees is gaining increasing recognition as a cornerstone of organisational success.

While large corporations often have extensive resources to address mental health concerns, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) face unique challenges in this regard.

However, there is a powerful tool that SMEs like HPS Product Recovery Solutions can leverage to foster a supportive workplace culture – Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs).

HPS Leading the Way

HPS is proud to announce that three members of our team—Bethany, Kelly, and Lucy—have successfully completed their training as Mental Health First Aiders.

For a predominantly male company within a largely male industry, their commitment to increasing mental health awareness is commendable. HPS recognises the unique challenges in our industry and is dedicated to providing a supportive environment for every team member.

Why Should SMEs Have MHFAs?

Mental health issues can affect anyone, irrespective of the size or industry of a business. In SMEs, where employees often wear multiple hats and work closely together, the impact of mental health challenges can be magnified.

According to studies, mental health concerns contribute to absenteeism, reduced productivity, and increased turnover rates.

Recognising the proactive measures needed, SMEs like HPS are increasingly turning to mental first aiders.

Fostering a Compassionate Culture at HPS

One of the primary benefits of having MHFAs at HPS is the creation of a supportive and empathetic workplace culture. Trained to identify signs of mental health issues, these individuals offer a non-judgmental and confidential space for their colleagues to share concerns. This approach helps break down stigmas surrounding mental health, fostering an environment where employees feel valued and supported.

In a society that, for a long time, has ignored and ridiculed male mental health, creating a supportive culture that encourages openness and communication is important to HPS. Approximately 40% of men in the UK won’t discuss their mental health with close friends, family, or a medical professional.

With mental health first aiders at HPS, the team will always have someone supportive to turn to if they decide to talk or require help.

Early Intervention and Prevention

MHFAs at HPS play a crucial role in early intervention and prevention. By recognising signs of distress in their colleagues, they can provide immediate support or guide individuals to appropriate resources. This proactive approach can prevent issues from escalating, reducing the long-term impact on both the employee and the organisation. In SMEs, where resources may be limited, early intervention can make a significant difference in maintaining a healthy and productive workforce.

Apart from their physical presence at the office, the HPS MHFAs maintain a board focused on raising awareness of mental health, stress management techniques, and external support.

Reducing Stigma and Encouraging Dialogue

In many workplaces, there is still a considerable stigma associated with mental health issues. Employees may fear judgment or professional repercussions if they disclose their struggles.

Mental health first aiders actively work to break down these barriers by promoting open dialogue and understanding. Their presence signals to employees that mental health is a priority, and that seeking help is not only acceptable but encouraged.

This shift in perception is instrumental in creating a workplace where individuals feel safe discussing their mental health concerns.
HPS prioritises physical and mental health with flexible working, frequent check-ins, an open-door policy, and a mental health action plan. The company continually seeks ways to enhance employee offerings.

Training and Education

Bethany, Kelly, and Lucy each undertook approximately 40 hours of self-guided study to achieve their NCFE CACHE Level 2 Certificates in Understanding Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health Advocacy in the Workplace.

Kelly Whetton, Spares and Customer Care Coordinator at HPS, shares her positive experience, stating, “I found the mental health course to be informative and well-presented. Collaborating with my colleagues during the course was a great experience, and we are enthusiastic about putting our newfound knowledge into action. I look forward to witnessing the tangible benefits for the entire team.”

By educating employees about mental health, the stigma associated with these issues is further diminished, fostering a culture of empathy and support within HPS.

Boosting Employee Morale and Productivity

A mental health-focused workplace improves morale and productivity.

Employees who feel supported in their mental well-being are more likely to engage in their work, contribute creatively, and collaborate effectively with their colleagues. Mental health first aiders play a pivotal role in facilitating this positive shift, helping to create a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally.

Bethany, Kelly, and Lucy have begun implementing fun (optional) challenges and activities for the HPS team to take part in. These challenges include things like lunchtime scavenger hunts, monthly challenges, and a Secret Santa party.

Committed to Our Team

At HPS, we understand the importance of MHFAs to SMEs. Bethany, Kelly, and Lucy serve as beacons of support, contributing to the creation of a workplace culture that values the mental well-being of its employees.

By fostering open dialogue, reducing stigma, and providing early intervention, mental health first aiders play a vital role in ensuring the health and success of both individuals and HPS.

As our business continues to evolve, we recognise that the significance of mental health first aiders isn’t just a strategic move for us; it’s a deeply humane choice. This underscores our commitment to the overall well-being of our workforce, reflecting the core values that drive HPS forward.