October 10th marks World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about mental health issues and advocating for better mental health support worldwide. At Pennine, we firmly believe that mental well-being is an integral part of overall health, deserving the same attention, care, and understanding as physical health.
Our purpose statement is simple,
‘Protecting Life. Empowering Colleagues. Enriching Communities.’
Through developing our business-wide understanding of the needs of our colleagues and communities, we are continually improving to benefit our employees.
Meet the team…
Working as Procedure Pack Coordinator, Louise Summerfield explains ‘I think mental health is just as important as physical health and people deserve to have a happy life’. By undergoing the training, Louise has gained valuable know-how in how to assist our colleagues with any concerns Mental Health related using her ‘compassionate, caring, and trustworthy’ demeanor.
For anyone thinking of reaching out, ‘I know it might seem scary but talking genuinely helps, and anything you talk to us about is kept strictly confidential’.
Justyna Slawinska, our Maintenance Coordinator, ‘wanted to become an MHFA because [she] know[s] how hard it is to make that first step and reach out for help.’ Outside of the workplace, Justyna enjoys ‘reading and watching movies’. As a representative of the team, her aim is to ‘listen, support, and help’ anyone who requires assistance. Our team are committed to improving the general well-being of our colleagues in the workplace – making Pennine an open space where we can live up to our values of ‘Accountability, Honesty, and Continuous Improvement’.
After working at Pennine for over 30 years, our Project Lead, Lisa Burgin applied to become a Mental Health First Aider as ‘she wanted to learn more to help others’. The course that the team undertook was geared towards improving knowledge, compassion, and recognition of the toll everyday strains of life can have. Lisa shared with us her skills of ‘empathy and helping as much as [she] can physically, such as giving out phone numbers and even taking people to counsellors and doctors’.
We understand that the first step to reaching out can be hard, but Lisa explains, ‘don’t be afraid or embarrassed, more people struggle than you think!’
‘With the right help and support, anyone struggling with their mental health has the power to change.’ Being the friendly face at our reception when entering our workplace, our Front of House Manager, Hummie Loi, wanted to join our MHFA team ‘to encourage people to take that initial step, to have a confidential discussion, and address any challenges they may be facing.’ Outside of work, Hummie enjoys ‘spending quality time with family and friends, going for walks, watching films, and baking’.
Our Mental Health first Aiders are real people that have dedicated time to training and become qualified to help people out that may be struggling. Not only have we implemented these measures of support, but they are also available ‘in a safe, confidential, and non-judgmental environment’.
Our Mental Health is important, and by recognising this, we can continue to fulfill our value of Continuous Improvement to the benefit of our employees across the business and into the community.
By breaking the stigma surrounding Mental Health issues, we now have a team of approachable allies who will listen, who will support, and who will guide their colleagues to appropriate resources when required.