On 30 October 2020, our Mental Health Champions at PLP conducted a mental health (MH) training event to their colleagues. At PLP, we consider a ‘champion’ to be a leader who is responsible for bringing awareness to a specific topic, in this instance it is MH. Our two champions offer guidance to employees on where they can find the best resources for MH support and are committed to removing the stigma around MH.

In this training event, our champions presented a number of different MH topics to our staff, these included;

  • Types of MH illness that can be affected by stressful work environments.
  • Signs of these illnesses.
  • Sources of outside support for our employees.
  • Ideas on how PLP could help to remove the stigma around MH.

We interviewed our champions to reflect on how the training event went.

Who participated in this training event?

Everyone at PL Projects! Directors were very involved and shared their insight into how they have dealt with MH challenges in previous situations. It was great to see everyone involved, from senior managers to placement students.

How do you feel the MH training was perceived by PLP staff?

We felt it was perceived really well by our colleagues as they were very engaged throughout the discussion. Many of our colleagues volunteered to share their feelings about the questions we devised for this presentation, which indicated to us that they felt comfortable enough to share vulnerable experiences and feelings with the rest of the business.

How did you prepare for this training event?

Our preparation began with us reviewing the training that we received on our MH training course. We then conducted new research by cross checking facts and reviewing government and business management websites. All of our colleagues know that PLP is a caring and transparent organisation, which made it easier for us to initiate this open conversation surrounding MH.

How did you prepare your colleagues for the impact of the training event?

We made sure that the information we were sharing about MH was factual and not anecdotal, we shared our resources directly with everyone and encouraged them to visit our sources. We were conscious to add interactive content to break up the amount of information we were presenting. Most importantly, it helped that we are very aware of our colleagues’ personality traits because of our close and supportive culture. With this in mind, it reassured us that the PLP team would help to keep the topic light-hearted but informative.

What are your plans as champions for future training events?

We will be devising a feedback session from the team to indicate how often we intend to continue sessions in the future. Additionally, during the training event we created a word cloud of the outputs from the questions we asked the team, these will be kept on our internal web-based platform for all to remind themselves of our discussion. We will plan another conversation in 6 months’ time to continue our efforts in removing the stigma around MH.