Amy Kieran, BITC, Gary Kane for Action Mental Health and Lauren McAreavey from Firstsource Solutions launch the new Mental Health Toolkit, which will be rolled out to 5,000 employees at eight Firstsource sites across the UK.

Firstsource Solutions, one of Northern Ireland’s largest private sector employers, is tackling mental health in the workplace with an innovative toolkit to help equip management with the key skills required to recognise the early triggers and symptoms.

The new toolkit was developed for Belfast and Derry centres in partnership with Action Mental HEALTH (amh) and Business in the Community.

Following a successful pilot in NI, the new initiative will now be rolled out across all Firstsource UK sites including Belfast, Derry, Cardiff, Derby, Middlesbrough and Warrington.

Firstsource is a leading global provider of Business Process Management (BPM) services and recognises that stress and poor mental health can be contributing factors to long-term sickness absence.

In Northern Ireland alone, mental ill health costs the local economy approximately £4bn every year.

A happy and healthy workforce is key to strong performance, and the introduction of this toolkit will enable some 5000 employees to receive support and guidance if needed.

Speaking at the launch of the toolkit, Laura Hourican VP HR UK of Firstsource said;

“As an employer, we have a duty of care for all our employees, and our people are at the centre of everything we do.

“We are committed to being proactive about mental health in the workplace, across all of our sites.

“This toolkit essentially enables managers to recognise the initial signs of mental health problems.

“It also gives them sufficient tools to provide help and communication in those early stages.

“It also equips them with the knowledge to signpost employees towards professional help.”

Recent statistics indicate that one in four people will experience some form of mental health problem in their lifetime.

Having an ongoing support network such as this within every workplace, could make a massive difference for those who need guidance.

Amy Kieran from Business in the Community Northern Ireland commented on their ongoing work with Firstsource in supporting the development and implementation of the Mental Health Toolkit for Line Managers;

“Firstsource were one of several companies who engaged with Business in the Community and Action Mental Health to support the development of the Toolkit.

“We are delighted to continue to work with and support Firstsource as this is implemented across the business, providing a vital resource that will benefit many employees across the UK.

“We are certain that the toolkit will offer the right support and reassurance for managers to feel more confident in addressing mental health in the workplace.

“Being able to proactively support employees dealing with this issue, and facilitate them towards professional support, is important in helping to create a positive progression for those affected by mental health issues at work.”

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