Tilhill Forestry is leading the way when it comes to safeguarding the mental health of its workers by way of engaging with an initiative designed to equip several staff across the country with the ability to offer mental health first aid.
It is widely acknowledged that the very nature of working in forestry can lead to higher levels of poor mental health within individuals than in those working in other industries. There are several contributing factors to this alarming statistic including:
- The isolation of workers/employees by the nature of the work being carried out
- The fact that the weather is a dominant controller when it comes to planning and site conditions. Workers need to be flexible and adapt their day and plans at a moment’s notice on a regular basis
- The frustrations caused by the time constraints imposed on the industry to work within certain time windows due to environmental restrictions, particularly relating to planting and harvesting.
In order to be able to provide the best possible support, Tilhill Forestry has selected a number of willing and appropriate employees across the country to attend a two-day training course on becoming a Mental Health First Aider.
The course objectives include:
- Understanding attitudes towards mental health
- Suicide and how to talk about it
- Understanding depression and anxiety
- Delivering mental health first aid in a working environment.
The session took place at the end of November with 15 employees receiving the training. The diversity of attendees was significant being a mix of a wide range in seniority, working locations and job roles.
The Company’s aims are to provide a unique level of support when it comes to mental health whilst reducing work related mental health absence.