Finning to train mental health first aiders

Construction equipment dealer Finning has committed to double the number of ‘mental health first aiders’ it has on its staff by the end of 2022.

head silhouettes (Image: Adobe Stock)

An employer of around 1,300 people, the company said it would train 30 more of its employees in mental health, to better support “everyone across the company”.

The new mental health first aiders will be certified by Mental Health First Aid England. They will provide confidential face-to-face and phone support for colleagues - no matter their role within the company - that may be suffering with mental health issues.

Although there is no mandatory requirement in the United Kingdom to have this type of provision, Finning has already trained 28 of its employees as registered mental health first aiders, as part of a proactive approach.

Iain Carpenter, director of service operations at Finning, said: “We work extremely hard to ensure we provide a safe and secure environment for all our employees focused on both physical and phycological wellbeing and are committed to do everything we can to help, when they need it most.”

“Increasing the number of mental health first aiders will ensure that all members of the Finning family can access the help and support, or they can call our employee assistance helpline or access on-line support tools provided thanks to our partnership with Mates in Mind charity.”

While the company made the announcement to mark Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, the decision to increase this type of support was based on the recent increase in the number of construction workers reporting poor mental health. 

According to Finning, UK construction sector growth is expected to reach £237 billion (US$294 billion) by 2024 and “a concerning consequence” of that growth is another increase in mental health issues.

Andy Lockett, a contracts manager at Finning and the lead for mental health support for its employees, said: “There’s certainly been an increase in the number of people getting in touch in the last 12 to 18 months and the company allows us the time to deal with it which illustrates the importance it has at board level.

“I’m totally committed to this because of my personal experience and how it helped me, and my family through an incredibly difficult time.”

Andy added: “Our role is to listen to any concerns or anxieties our colleagues have, and signpost them to the most appropriate support organisation.

“We’ve also been trained to recognise the signs that someone is going through a mental health issue or struggling, so we can sensitively offer them support and signpost if necessary.”


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