Its Good to Talk…

“Talking about mental health can be tough.

One in four people will be affected by the issue at some stage, but it can often be a difficult topic to tackle.

That’s why Osborne has been running Mental Health Conversations Workshops, which aim to change people’s perceptions and get them talking more openly about mental health.

Hosted by Commercial Assistant Samantha Mitchell and Project Manager Arron Dolan, and created with support from STOP Think! Coach Adam Hillaby, the workshops discuss the stigmas and fears which surround mental health, as well as how and where people can get support.

“Samantha and I have been affected by mental health and it’s likely someone you work alongside has been affected by it too,” said Arron. “People do struggle to speak about it openly, which is why sessions like the workshops where people sit down and have a discussion about mental health in a relaxed, comfortable environment are so important.
“It’s something we want to bring to as many frontline colleagues as possible.”

Workshops have already been held at Osborne sites Burnaby Road Underbridge, Foxhills and Winchfield, with plans for a further rollout ongoing.

Samantha continued: “The response so far has been fantastic but as an industry, there’s still a lot to do. Mental Health First Aiders and the Employee Assistance Programme are a great first step, but we need to continue to tackle mental health head on.
“The more we can raise awareness, whether it be through workshops, first aiders or by providing clear information, the more comfortable people will feel to tell someone if they are struggling.”

Juliette Cannock, Southern Shield Health and Wellbeing Lead, at Network Rail is a huge supporter of the roadshows: “I attended one of the roadshows and I honestly cannot recommend them enough. It’s brilliant to be able to sit in a room with people and speak frankly about the issues surrounding mental health.

“It can be such a tough thing to talk about, but events like these help make people aware of the options open to them if they’re struggling.
“We realised there’s a huge mental health issue in the industry during discussions at a Southern Shield event in July 2016. It’s clearly something a lot of people need support with, which is why we’ve introduced mental health first aiders and the Employee Assistance Programme. “Visibility is so important, and we want everyone who’s part of the Southern Shield to know that our mental health first aiders are here to help. They aren’t counsellors, but will absolutely be able to point you in the right direction should you require support.”

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