Mind launches free mental health training for small charities

Organisations of fewer than 250 staff will be able to access three training modules on the Mental Health for Small Workplaces website

The mental health charity Mind has launched free online training for small and medium-sized charities to promote better mental health in the workplace.

The Mental Health for Small Workplaces programme, which is funded by the Royal Foundation, is aimed at all organisations, including charities, with fewer than 250 employees.

The programme consists of three training modules on building awareness of mental health, self -care and how to support colleagues, and is accessible via the Mental Health at Work website.

A guide has also been produced to help employers integrate the training modules into their organisations.

The website is a result of work between Mind and the mental health campaign Heads Together, which was launched by the Duke of Cambridge last year.

Faye McGuinness, head of workplace wellbeing programmes at Mind, said that poor mental health was now the number one reason for staff absence, with research from the charity showing that 48 per cent of employees have experienced a mental health problem in their current jobs.

"We are beginning to see employers prioritise the mental health of their staff, but we have some way to go," McGuinness said.

"Not only is looking after staff the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense, resulting in increased productivity, morale and retention.

"From talking to small business owners we know that it can sometimes be difficult to find the time or resources to invest in mental health in the workplace. That’s why we have made it easier, with online training ideal for employees of smaller organisations"

The Lancashire and Cumbria-based charity CancerCare was one of the organisations to test the Mental Health for Small Workplaces modules for Mind.

Alison Stainthorpe, head of operations at CancerCare, said the programme would be a great resource for the charity’s staff.

"Mental Health for Small Workplaces is well structured, informative and easy to access and navigate," she said.

"Each topic covered can be completed independently and includes a range of facts, short informative videos, and links to valuable resources and support. I especially liked the relaxation topic in the second module and will definitely be trying some of the techniques suggested."

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