A mental health commitment by the team at the internationally acclaimed aquarium The Deep is now being rolled out to the corporate community after a successful showcase at the attraction’s Business Centre.
Technology company 43 Clicks North is working with its own clients including mental health training provider The Skills Network to share the lessons learned from a Time to Talk event which brought together clients at The Deep Business Centre in Hull.
Other companies in the Business Centre are already making an impact in promoting mental health awareness, with Think Cloud – another technology tenant – playing a key part in supporting the nationwide Andy’s Man Club charity.
Sami Hindmarsh, Admin and Meetings Co-ordinator at the Business Centre, said: “As part of the pledge made by the team at The Deep we set up a session in the Business Centre where people could come along and have a chat over coffee and cake, learn more about mental health and start the discussion.
“From there we found organisations who are already connected with mental health projects and have mental health first aiders, people who have the knowledge and resources to be able to signpost people.”
The Deep signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge in July 2019 and appointed workplace champions amongst the diverse group of staff who volunteered from across a range of departments.
The champions held their first event to mark World Mental Health Day in October 2019, with the aim of demonstrating that The Deep is a resource for mental health. A second event held recently in the Business Centre brought together around 20 people from front-line staff to director level.
Mike Ellis, Managing Director of 43 Clicks North, said: “The Time to Change initiative is all about getting employers on board and we’re going to sign up as a result of the event which took place here.
“It fits nicely with our ethos in terms of trying to look after our staff and it’s directly relevant to the work we’re doing with The Skills Network, providing digital marketing support for courses which include mental health awareness and understanding mental health.”
Lauren Simpkins, a Marketing Co-ordinator at The Skills Network’s Selby office, said: “Mike and his team are helping us to increase our brand awareness in a number of ways and the Time to Change activities have given them greater understanding of what we do. Our Level 2 certificate in awareness of mental health problems is very popular. We do a lot of work with charities and local authorities including nurseries and schools and it is good to see moves being made to raise awareness in the wider business community.”
Louise Kirby, Director of Operations and People at The Deep, said: “We became aware of how Time to Change provides a structure to raise awareness of mental health issues, decrease stigma and promote positive mental health and we joined them in introducing employee champions.
““We had a fantastic response from our staff so Sami took on the role at the Business Centre because we consider the clients there to be a key part of our community and we wanted to roll some of the information and activities out to that part of the organisation. We recognised that all activities on site could benefit The Deep community – we have seen such positive results which we wanted to share”.
[Phil Ascough – Ascough Associates]