1 (1)ONE of Northern Ireland’s largest private sector employers, Firstsource Solutions, has launched a unique wellbeing initiative that aims to deal with mental health recognition within the workplace.

The ‘Mental Health Toolkit’ has been developed in partnership with Business in the Community Northern Ireland (BITCNI), supported by Action Mental Health (amh), and encourages all employees to be proactive about looking after mental health.

Firstsource is a leading global provider of Business Process Management (BPM) services employing over 2,000 people across three sites in Belfast and Derry/Londonderry.

The toolkit will equip managers across its sites with a greater knowledge and give them confidence on how to deal with employees who may have health issues.

Laura Hourican, GM – HR for Firstsource, UK said; “We are delighted to have worked with BITCNI on this new initiative and recently introduced it across Northern Ireland and our wider UK operation during our wellbeing week to help increase awareness.

“As a responsible employer, we are conscious that employee wellbeing and positive mental health is of paramount importance.

“The kit enables our managers to recognise the triggers, gives them the necessary tools to communicate with employees and allows them to offer a range of support services.

“It’s also the first in a series of resources geared towards helping managers be more proactive in addressing mental health.

“The workplace is often a pressured environment so these wellbeing weeks give staff some time-out from the call centre floor to help reduce stress and boost productivity.

“Staff can avail from a range of activities to encourage a more positive and engaging workplace including; massage therapy, health checks, holistic therapy, healthy food and fitness programmes.”

Stress and poor mental health are two of the biggest factors contributing to long-term sickness absence and costs the Northern Ireland economy around £4bn every year.

The ‘Mental Health Toolkit’ may help to reduce absenteeism for businesses in Northern Ireland.

Deborah McConnell, Workplace 20:20 Manager from Business in the Community welcomed the support from Firstsource, saying:

“Business in the Community is delighted to have worked in partnership with our Champions Network to develop this vital resource that we feel will be useful for all types of organisations.”

“Having been supported by Action Mental Health, we are certain the toolkit will help provide the right support and reassurance for line managers to feel more confident in addressing mental health in the workplace and in being able to proactively help and support employees dealing with this issue.”

Laura added; “We understand that a healthy workforce is a happy workforce and we are confident that other businesses will be encouraged to manage, recognise the signs, understand and provide support for the mental health of all employees.”

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