Massive demand for workplace mental health and wellbeing training

Over the last few months, the European Social Funded project REACH Cornwall, delivered by Truro and Penwith College, has sought feedback from local social and health care providers regarding their training needs.

A group of people participating in a workshop looking at some work

As a result of the information received, REACH Cornwall’s ESF Curriculum Developer, Karen Keast, identified a number of key categories including mental health for managers and communication.

Karen developed and delivered the project’s first free pilot course on Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing as a series of one day and half day sessions across the county during March and the first week of April.  It was well received with almost all dates fully booked within just days of it being advertised. 100 per cent of attendees said they enjoyed the course and had lots of ideas to take back to their workplace to support positive mental health and wellbeing of their staff. 

Attendee comments included:

“The whole day was very informative and full of ideas that I can take back to work to put in place.”

“It will greatly help me in supporting the staff within my organisation as well as managing my own mental health and wellbeing.”

ESF Project Coordinator for REACH Cornwall, Jenny Gramnes said,

“We are thrilled with the very positive response to our first pilot course but also acutely aware of how it highlights the tremendous pressure the sector is under.  The increasing demand for social care and healthcare services locally coupled with growing workforce shortages, can led to greater pressure on staff.  It is critical for managers to feel empowered to identify and address stress and other mental health issues early, build resilience in their teams and ultimately reduce absence rates.”

April is National Stress Awareness Month – 30 days dedicated to raising awareness of the causes of stress and how to overcome it.  Over 11 million days are lost at work each year because of stress at work1.  According to the Mental Health Foundation, in the past year, 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope2.  The most recent statistics from the Health and Safety Executive reveal that, for the first time, work-related stress, anxiety and depression accounts for over half of all days lost due to ill health in Great Britain and that workers in social care are amongst those most at risk3.

As an employer-led forum, REACH Cornwall continues to respond to the needs of its members and will develop the pilot course in Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing further using the feedback received from attendees.  It is anticipated that this will then become part of the regular short course offering from Truro and Penwith College. 

The project also continues to deliver the training requested by the sector with a free communication workshop tailored specifically for social and health care providers on Wednesday 24 April.  The event includes lunch, networking opportunities and the chance to input into future courses developed by REACH Cornwall.  It takes place from 11.30am to 4.30pm at the Penzance Cricket Club, TR18 2SA.  Tickets are free and available via Eventbrite at reachcornwallforum3.eventbrite.com but spaces are limited so early booking is advised.

For more information about REACH Cornwall please visit http://www.reachcornwall.org.uk or contact the team at healthandcare@truro-penwith.ac.uk or on 01872 308 197.

1. HSE website http://www.hse.gov.uk/stress

2. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-stress

3. http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf