First Bus launches new mental health training programmes to support staff

Posted: 16 May 2024 | | No comments yet

First Bus’s new mental health training programmes aim to equip employees with essential skills to tackle stress and burnout effectively, fostering a proactive approach to wellbeing in the workplace.

First Bus launches new mental health training programmes to support staff

Credit: First Bus

In response to statistics revealing stress and burnout as leading causes of sickness absence across the UK, First Bus has announced the roll-out of two innovative mental health training programmes, as part of the company’s commitment to fostering proactive wellbeing among its workforce.

Research conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) highlighted that stress-related issues have become predominant factors driving employee absenteeism. Among 918 organisations surveyed, representing over 6.5 million employees, 76% reported taking time off due to stress within the past year.

To address these concerns, First Bus has partnered with mental health organisations, Mental Health First Aid England and State of Mind, to equip its employees with essential skills and knowledge to tackle mental health challenges effectively.

The collaboration with Mental Health First Aid England has resulted in over 250 colleagues becoming certified Mental Health First Aiders. These individuals are trained to offer immediate assistance to those experiencing mental health issues, guiding them towards appropriate support services and helping reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems.

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Furthermore, First Bus has joined forces with mental health charity State of Mind to ensure that every line manager undergoes training to become a designated Mental Health Champion by the end of Summer 2024. This training empowers managers to engage in regular conversations with their teams about mental health and offer continuous support beyond emergency situations.

Gareth Hind, Director of Colleague Experience and Relations at First Bus, said: “Mental health referrals are on the rise and this year we’ve seen more cases than ever before. It’s important we support our colleagues that need urgent help and care, but also provide our people with the tools and skills they need to cope with the pressures of everyday life.”

Isabelle Hartley, Client Lead for First Bus at Mental Health First Aid England, said: “It is a privilege to work with First Bus, delivering a range of mental health knowledge, awareness and skills. We know that the transport sector has a disproportionately high rate of mental ill health, with around four in ten cases of work-related ill-health due to stress, depression or anxiety.”

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