Qinetic Training - Mental health and stress awareness - Aug 16Pictured is the last block of QinetiQ employees who took part in the Mental Health & Stress awareness training provided by Norma Macleod, Healthy Working Lives Advisor, and Alison MacDonald, Senior Health Promotion Officer.

The series of training and awareness sessions for staff and managers was held during March to July 2016 and is designed to encourage good practice in promoting positive mental health and well-being, offering managers a broad awareness of mental health and identifying key factors that contribute to a mentally healthy workplace.

The Hebrides Range run by QinetiQ is the largest private employer in the Southern Isles with around 140 staff.  Initially Health Promotion were contacted by employee rep and Councillor, Donnie Steele, regarding support and training as Donnie had been promoting a ‘Mentally Healthier Workplace’ throughout QinetiQ UK sites, working with various charities and training providers.

Donnie said, “Two years ago I gave a presentation on mental health, and how it was time to be more active in spotting, talking and supporting those with depression/stress.  I had suffered a decade ago and the silent killer that is depression had me on the brink. Nobody knew, as I hid it well and was seen as a strong individual. We have this stigma that says somehow depression is a character flaw,  that somehow it’s a sign of weakness, it is not. Part of the problem with depression and stress is identifying the illness. Few employees feel comfortable admitting they are unequal to the task at hand, and some decide to keep it a secret. Only about half of the people who struggle with depression and stress seek help. It’s a state of mental un-wellness. It’s got nothing to do with your character. But the stigma suggests that for some reason, if you’re dealing with depression, it’s because you’re just not strong enough.

“It’s time to be more open about our mental health and be more proactive helping those affected.  I hope more companies throughout the Western Isles embrace this training, whether they have dozens or just one employee. The training is education for life, that could save a live”.  

For further information on this training contact norma.macleod1@nhs.net or 01851762013