Leeds recruitment firm commits to mental health training after tragic loss

A Leeds-based recruitment firm has committed to training its employees in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) after recognising a dangerous gap in responsibility for gig workers and temps.

Last year, one of The Works Recruitment’s contract workers tragically took his own life. This prompted the firm to evaluate how it could support employees who may be experiencing mental health problems.

“For too long there has been a culture of fear and silence around mental health, and while work may not directly impact an individual’s emotional state, you can’t leave mental health issues at home,” says Craig Burton, Managing Director at The Works Recruitment.

“I can’t help thinking that if a member of my team – or the client’s team – had been trained in Mental Health First Aid, we may have been able to at least identify there was an issue with the young father who took his own life, and perhaps even prevent the devastating situation.”

According to a survey of 44,000 people carried out by the mental health charity Mind, poor mental health affects half of all employees. However, a recent poll by the Institute of Directors found fewer than one in five firms offer mental health training for managers.

Contract workers are thought to be most at risk of falling through the cracks amid uncertainty surrounding who is responsible for the occupational health of these individuals.

“In our experience, nobody seems to be taking responsibility for the mental health and wellbeing of temporary workers, who don’t even have the benefit of established networks in the workplace which can be a lifeline for those in turmoil,” adds Burton.

“This is why we’re campaigning to encourage other firms who recruit and manage temporary workforces to join us and endorse Mental Health First Aid in their business.”

“We have a moral obligation to look out for those who are overlooked by others – and together we can make a difference.”

The Works Recruitment are in the process of training all their employees in MHFA and are offering mental health training courses to all local businesses during 2019. To find out more about these MHFA training courses, which they are hosting in their Leeds offices, email helen.lambert@theworksrec.co.uk.