Contributed by Flagship Group
23/05/2019 - Flagship Group
The Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP joined Mental Health First Aiders from Flagship Group as the company marked Mental Health Awareness Week.
The North Norfolk MP, a passionate mental health campaigner, heard first-hand from some of Flagship’s qualified Mental Health First Aiders about the impact the training has had in supporting others. The housing provider has 75 trained Mental Health First Aiders and 100 people on the waiting list to receive the training.
The MP, a former Minister of State for Health, also found out how the company is embedding mental health support to improve wellbeing, including through bitesize workshops, a wellbeing forum, awareness sessions, and a confidential contact point for employees to use.
Mr Lamb talked to Flagship staff reaffirming that ‘mental health shouldn’t be inferior to physical health.’ He also explained the importance of leadership in supporting mental health in the workplace. The MP also spoke about the importance of opening up, commenting that ‘the fear of sharing and also coping with mental health can be overbearing’.
Norman Lamb commented: “It is so encouraging to see that Flagship has a culture where people can come forward and get help.
“Organisations should do more to support their staff, it is enlightened self-interest for business to focus on the wellbeing of people as Flagship is both in individual and the organisation benefits. It’s the right thing to do.”
The visit was the culmination of a week of events which also saw ex-Norwich City and Bordeaux footballer Cedric Anselin give a moving talk about his own experiences with mental health.
Cedric, who at the height of his career played against teams such as AC Milan, talked about how he felt when his football career faltered, and that subsequently, he struggled with his own mental health.
Cedric also shared how he hid his mental ill health before hitting his lowest point and reaching out to fellow former footballer Clarke Carlisle. Now, manager of Norwich United FC Cedric has taken the decision to talk openly and told the room that his experiences ‘make me the person I am today’ and ‘we must educate ourselves to care about each other.’
He said: “I’m so humble to share my story and to encourage others to open up about mental health during Mental Health Awareness Week.
“It is magnificent of Flagship to promote mental health in the workplace and I think other companies should take this as an example, helping and educating each other it’s ok, to not be ok.”
Throughout the week, staff also tried their hand at Laughing Yoga and Meditation sessions, providing people with the opportunity to try out some practical techniques to support wellbeing. And, teams from across the group had the chance to play on the pitch at Carrow Road in a football tournament which helped to promote physical wellbeing.
David McQuade, Chief Executive said: “We are creating a stigma-free workplace, where we can have open and honest conversations about mental health, where our people can access support, and where wellbeing is promoted.
“We were delighted to meet with Mr Lamb to discuss the importance of mental health in the workplace, and share with him what we are doing. It was also a privilege to hear Cedric Anselin talk so openly and honestly about his own struggles with mental health.
“We have marked Mental Health Awareness Week with some thought-provoking and interesting activities but for us it doesn’t stop here and we will continue to make sure that Flagship is a place where mental health is supported.”
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