On course to supporting mental health

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A foundation of our work culture at Cougar Automation is the belief that to make our customers happy, we must first ensure our team members are happy with their work environment. Recently, a group from our Yorkshire team showed their dedication to this philosophy by completing a half-day mental health first-aid course.

The course is run by St. John Ambulance which is working with Mental Health First Aid England to raise awareness of mental illness, reduce the stigma associated with it, and help people to support themselves and aid others with recovery.

“It’s been estimated that of all the work days lost to illness in Great Britain, more than half that loss is now due to work-related stress or depression,” explains Mark Campbell, Regional Leader of our Yorkshire office. “Everyone has suffered with mental health issues at some point in their lives, or knows someone close to them who has. The St. John Ambulance course provides us with an opportunity to gain a basic awareness of mental health illness and how to help ourselves and those around us.”

The first group of eight from Cougar Automation who attended the course was made up of five team leaders and three engineers. At the introductory four-hour session, the group learned about factors that can affect a person’s mental health, how to spot signs of distress, types of mental health conditions, stages of recovery, and how to start a supportive conversation.

“We wanted to expand our understanding,” says Mark. “And the course helped put us on a path towards a more proactive approach to discussing the issues and helping ourselves and those around us.

“All who attended agreed it was a highly useful undertaking — so much so that we’re already planning to have another two groups attend the course.”