October 10th is World Mental Health Day - a day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health. Mental health and wellbeing are very much part of TTM’s people-focused culture - which is why we have trained several of our staff members as Mental Health First Aid Responders. Through this special skills development course, they are equipped to provide vital support and assistance to a colleague experiencing a mental health difficulty or crisis.
Why 'Mental Health First Aid'?
TTM Head of People and Culture, Samantha Slattery, sourced the training and ensured investment was allocated back in 2022. She explains her motivation:
‘We all know how to give first aid in the event of a physical accident. But what about helping team members who are experiencing a mental health emergency? TTM is very much at the forefront of making sure our people get the mental health support they need. I believe the negative stigma so often attached to mental health can only be changed when we as organisations build the right culture - where people feel comfortable to openly discuss mental health and are supported.”
The training has been made available to both our Ireland and UK teams - with four team members already completing the course and a further two due to complete by the end of the year. In Ireland, the training is being supplied by Mental Health First Aid Ireland, the only company of its kind in Ireland, while Mental Health First Aid England is training our colleagues in Manchester. The training is delivered remotely over four half-days and is designed to teach participants how to provide initial help to colleagues in need, until they receive appropriate professional support.
What is Involved?
TTM participants on the course joined people from all backgrounds and industries on the course. They learnt how to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems and explored what kind of help is effective at this early stage.
“For me the course was so worthwhile - inspiring and insightful. It was heavy, yes - but rewarding to know that we were learning the tools that can really make a difference to someone in crisis. We studied theory, analysed videos and learned how to go about administering mental health first aid.
“I found the hands-on, practical advice really helpful. For example, if you’re there with someone in mental health crisis, don’t sit opposite them - sit next to them. The approach you take and the words you choose are so important.”
Samantha also explains that she is ensuring course learnings are applied in TTM’s Employment Assistance Programme (EAP) - to make sure our EAP is a programme team members want to use when they need it.
Here’s what two of our team members said about their course experience:
“The training was excellent. Our trainer was extremely informative and made the course really interactive. He shared his own mental health experiences which opened up discussions for others to share, making it a safe environment for us all to learn from each other. We received a manual which helps with learning and understanding, and I feel I left the course fully confident in my ability to be a mental health first aider.” - Ellie Benson, Bid & Content Coordinator
“The content was hard-hitting at times, but so insightful and I have picked up many skills which I will use both in the workplace, and in my personal life. I came away feeling much more confident about how to start mental health conversations and knowing how to identify mental health issues." - Charlotte Lostak, Quality & Compliance Manager