MHScot aims to reduce the impact that poor mental health and wellbeing have on Scotland’s workforce and volunteers.
MHScot Workplace Wellbeing offer a range of training and consultancy services to help employers and employees engender a healthy environment in the workplace.
After launching in 2014, MHScot initially kept its activities broad in scope, focusing on courses, workshops, awareness sessions and digital learning around workplace policies and best practice concerning mental health.
Now with over four years of experience, MHScot offer more specialised modules with an emphasis on educating and mobilising change – with person-centred workshops tailored for both employers and employees.
A wide range of in-house training courses and workshops are available, including mental health first aid training, awareness workshops, suicide awareness sessions.
MHScot offer over 12 face-to-face topics to help employees overcome work-related mental health problems, including resilience building, stress management, healthy communication and self-care. Employees can then take a ‘pick and mix’ approach to create a specific programme to suit their needs, which can be turned into bite sized modules or more in-depth training days.
MHScot’s approach within workplace environments is to ascertain whether conversations about mental health and wellbeing have already started. If they haven’t, they look to facilitate these discussions with the aim of making them a normal part of day-to-day activities.
MHScot has also recently introduced Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid programme for supporting young people between the ages of 11 and 17. The aim is not only to support those working in education, who are increasingly struggling and experiencing significant stress, but to try and turn the tide on the number of young people who will be joining the labour market with unresolved significant mental health issues.
Founding director Catherine Eadie earned a place on a year-long learning programme with the School of Social Entrepreneurs – benefiting from a £4,000 grant to support start-up costs.
This covered the outlay for marketing, equipment, insurance and accounts, but since then MHScot has moved into a position where its turnover is 100% generated by trading activity.
Under MHScot’s model, its beneficiaries – employees and volunteers – do not pay for its services.
Using employers’ responsibilities under health & safety Law, it is an employer’s duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and other people who might be affected by their business. Employers must therefore do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this, and it is employers who pay for MHScot’s services.
In circumstances where employees do not wish to involve their employers, face-to-face sessions and workshops can be purchased directly from MHScot, with discounts available for those on benefits or low incomes.
Since 2015, MHScot has delivered 53 courses and workshops, 75% of which were two-day Mental Health First Aid courses.
A total of 842 participants have engaged with MHScot’s services to date, with nearly 50% of these having come from the third sector. After completing a training workshop or course, 32% reported improved knowledge, 24% improved confidence and 23% improved skills.
Additionally, feedback suggests that after completing a course people begin having conversations in their workplace which then enables employers and employees to take the next step in taking action.