One of Derry’s largest employers has rolled out a toolkit to help in tackling mental health in the workplace.
Firstsource said the project is aimed at helping equip management with the key skills required to recognise the early triggers and symptoms of mental health issues.
The new toolkit was developed for Derry and Belfast centres in partnership with Action Mental Health and Business in the Community.
Following a successful pilot here, the new initiative will now be rolled out across all Firstsource UK sites.
Firstsource said they recognised that stress and poor mental health can be contributing factors to long-term sickness absence.
In Northern Ireland alone, mental ill health costs the local economy approximately £4bn every year.
The introduction of the toolkit will enable some 5,000 employees to receive support and guidance if needed, the company said.
Speaking at the launch of the toolkit, Laura Hourican from Firstsource said; “As an employer, we have a duty of care for all our employees, and our people are at the centre of everything we do. We are committed to being proactive about mental health in the workplace, across all of our sites.
“This toolkit essentially enables managers to recognise the initial signs of mental health problems. It also gives them sufficient tools to provide help and communication in those early stages. It also equips them with the knowledge to signpost employees towards professional help.”
Recent statistics indicate that one in four people will experience some form of mental health problem in their lifetime.
Having an ongoing support network such as this within every workplace, could make a massive difference for those who need guidance, Firstsource have said.
Amy Kieran from Business in the Community Northern Ireland commented on their ongoing work with Firstsource in supporting the development and implementation of the Mental Health Toolkit for Line Managers; “Firstsource were one of several companies who engaged with Business in the Community and Action Mental Health to support the development of the Toolkit.
“We are delighted to continue to work with and support Firstsource as this is implemented across the business, providing a vital resource that will benefit many employees across the UK.
“We are certain that the toolkit will offer the right support and reassurance for managers to feel more confident in addressing mental health in the workplace. Being able to proactively support employees dealing with this issue, and facilitate them towards professional support, is important in helping to create a positive progression for those affected by mental health issues at work.”