Red Umbrella and Care Coins is a mental health first aid training provider with all manner of mental health resources under one “umbrella”. With a unique offering in the workplace mental health training landscape, the organisation is making great strides in changing workplace well-being for the better.
Tim Ladd, managing director of Red Umbrella, comments on the purpose and mission of the organisation: “Promoting a culture of solidarity and personalised support is at the forefront of our organisation, so we offer unrivalled help and support with a range of training resources within the mental health space.”
Inspired by Red Nose Day, the “red umbrella” seeks to be a symbol of protection from rainy days, something that may be taken for granted but that nevertheless provides instant support when needed.
Catering to the increasing demand for MHFA from companies wanting to put structures into place to support their employees, Red Umbrella worked to create a unique offering for businesses, evolving to become a bespoke training company in the corporate environment.
“We wanted our training offering to be completely tailored to each company’s needs; every individual is different, and the sector they work in will have an impact on the kind of help they might need and how they communicate.
“Therefore, we set up a very ethical, authentic personal experience tailored to the individual’s environment,” Tim explained.
As well as providing high-quality accredited courses on a vast range of topics, Red Umbrella is the only provider in the UK that offers a one-year aftercare support package, a key part of its revolutionary offering.
“There are institutions out there that let employees sign up for a mental health first aid course, complete it, and then simply leave, but we believe that’s simply not good enough if we are to safeguard members of staff that take on the role of first aider,” says Tim.
“In any workplace, there’ll be one or more members of staff that volunteer to take on this role to help their fellow colleagues; these individuals are likely to hear the same things that a therapist hears, but the key difference is that a therapist has years of training, boundaries, and self-care strategies in place, and people above them that they can speak to seek help themselves.
“However, a mental health first aider in the workplace won’t be equipped with the same support network and expertise. So, this ‘aftercare’ offering is a vital aspect that has been consistently neglected by other providers”.
With recent research showing that poor mental health can cost UK employers up to £45 billion per year, businesses are investing more and more into supporting employees’ mental health and improving the quality of their work lives.
And mental health first aid training has become increasingly important as a result, now valued as a crucial aspect of building a workplace where employees feel supported.
Much like physical first aiders, mental health first aiders become qualified with a basic level of understanding of how to provide mental health support, becoming a vital resource for staff within any company.
Speaking of the essential role of mental health aids in the modern workplace, Tim added, “When it comes to mental health, there is still a lot of stigma. People have a tendency to suffer in silence, particularly in the workplace, believing they’d somehow be penalised if they told someone they were struggling.
“The aim of mental health first aid is to educate others, reduce stigma, and make it more acceptable to talk about mental health, as well as ensure there are people available who are ready to listen and prepared to help.
“In any workplace, no matter the industry, there might be employees that have either been through mental health struggles themselves or who might have questions they need the answer to in order to help family members, friends, or people they know.
“Much of this could be about mindfulness, stress, or financial concerns, but it could also revolve around suicide, addiction, depression, or anxiety, and having someone on hand who can help could save lives.”