RCR undertakes mental health awareness training

In order to be able to more effectively support people with a suspected or diagnosed mental health condition, 14 staff from River Canal Rescue recently attended a one-day Mental Health Awareness training course at its Stafford head office.

The charity Mind says one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and in England, one in six reports a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.

RCR wanted to ensure its teams are aware of the most common mental health disorders, can recognise signs and symptoms and know how to practically support others.

The firm is keen to break the stigma surrounding mental health and with ‘front line’ staff and engineers continually helping people in what can be very stressful situations, office manager Charlotte Perry felt the interactive course would benefit staff and those they come into contact with.

Earlier this year, RCR released its 2017 rescue figures which showed teams attended 137 major and 25 incidents – around one every other day. Outside the rescue requests, RCR call-outs for help with problems resulting from maintenance issues totalled 4691, equating to some 13 a day.

What was learned on the course – run by local training firm in-equilibrium – will be cascaded to employees across RCR and there are plans to enrol more staff on future sessions and run a follow-up Mental Health First Aid course later this year.

RCR is planning to become the first leisure marine company accredited as a Mental Health First Aider and intends to consolidate this knowledge and achieve Mental Health First Aid Champion status.
Charlotte comments: “As a company, we’re keen to promote positive attitudes towards mental health and this course was brilliant in helping us understand in-depth, the reasons for certain behaviours. It certainly gave all attendees increased confidence in their ability to support people with mental health issues.”

In-equilibrium trainer, Dawn Hardman, was impressed by RCR’s enthusiasm: “The team welcomed this training with open arms – they were keen to gain some insight into why emotional well-being is so often compromised and were looking for practical solutions for work and personal situations. I was honoured to spend the day with such a passionate and committed group of delegates.”

To find out more about River Canal Rescue visit www.rivercanalrescue.co.uk or check out their Facebook page. To find out more about mental health awareness and other stress management/resilience training courses visit www.in-equilibrium.co.uk

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