Mental Health matters

October 5th, 2018 in Care and Support blog

Dave Thackwray, Learning and Development Business Partner here at Home Group, answers our questions on mental health….

Why is it important to talk about mental health? 

1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives, and yet people still don’t want to talk about it. 

Everyone is affected by mental health, in the same way that everyone is affected by physical health. If you have a bad hair day, or get stuck in terrible traffic, it can put you in a terrible mood. This is your mental health. 

It’s so important that we talk about how we feel, how things affect us, how we cope, and be reassured that there are always people to support and help us. 

4110 mental health web

How does Home Group's policy on mental health differ to other employers? 

We’re really trying to be a leader in how we view mental health in the workplace – because for our colleagues to enjoy their work and be the best they can possibly be for our customers, they need to feel safe and well. 

We’ve already made progress in making Home Group a psychologically safe place to work, which includes receiving a Better Health at Work award, as well as being named a Mindful employer and Disability Confident workplace. 

We also have a flexible working policy allowing colleagues to work around their lifestyle and commitments – it's made a huge difference to me knowing I can work from home if I can't get a dog sitter, something which used to cause quite a bit of stress, anxiety, and was blooming expensive at times. 

We also signed Natasha Devon's petition, calling on parliament to make all workplaces have a mental health first aider, as well as a physical health first aider. 

What is mental health first aid training?

Mental health first aid training is about making sure our colleagues know how to respond to a crisis, know where to get specialist support, and can inspire others to have enough confidence when helping those in distress. 

It can make all the difference to someone who is struggling with their mental health, or at crisis point, to know they aren't alone and that they’re able to express themselves. After all, if we’re comfortable talking about a broken bone, why shouldn’t we say we're having a bad day and might need some help? 

You can find out more about mental health first aid training and Natasha Devon’s petition by visiting 

What should I do if I'm struggling with my mental health? 

First of all, please know you’re not alone. Try to talk to someone about how you’re feeling and don’t be afraid to ask for help – you can talk to us; we're here to help and will always listen, or book an appointment with your local doctor. 

Mental health charity, Mind, is also a great place for you to look for help and support by visiting uk. Or you can call the Samaritans, anytime and for free, on 116 123 to talk about how you’re feeling. 

And remember, sometimes it can be as simple as taking a break or going for a walk to make you feel a whole lot better.

If you'd like more advice and support on mental health, visit Mind. If you're a care provider, you might find our New Models of Care and Mental Health offer information useful.