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FirstPort launches Mental Health First Aiders

The first cohort of 40 volunteers who attended a two-day course to qualify as Mental Health First Aiders at FirstPort was announced during Mental Health Awareness Week.

It is believed to be the first such programme to be introduced across the residential property management sector. The mental health first aiders come from different roles and departments across the business. They are available to talk to by anyone including those who might feel uncomfortable discussing stress-related issues with a line manager or a departmental colleague.

Mandy Ferries, Director of Human Resources at FirstPort said: “A healthy workplace is one where employees and managers work together to protect and promote their health, safety and wellbeing and the sustainability of the business. Just as a regular first aider would administer the first line of care to a physical injury before referring a patient onto a professional medic, our mental health first aiders will provide the initial reassurance and support if someone is feeling unwell before assisting them to find the best possible professional to assist them.

Emily Salmon, one of FirstPort’s Mental Health First Aiders continued: “Some of our colleagues work a lot on their own, or, due to the nature of the environment they are working within, such as within our retirement brand, may at times have to deal with some emotionally difficult situations.  To have people in the business who are trained on mental health first aid who they can ring up who are there just to listen and support them is so invaluable.”

Emily added: “According to Mental Health First Aid England one in four people suffer from a mental health condition. A few years ago, I suffered from a personal situation that made me feel unwell whilst at work. Had there been a mental health first aider available at that time, then I would certainly have called them at that time which would have been highly beneficial and supportive and would have made a significant impact on my recovery.  I do feel that this is really a key investment from FirstPort that will benefit the wellbeing of each of us.”