(photo: ABM UK)
13.05.2021, 12:02

First Aid for Mental Health

ABM has introduced a mental health training programme across its business, industry and aviation divisions in a first-of-its-kind partnership with change and development platform, TalkOut.


The programme will equip team members, including security officers, train station cleaning teams and those working in airports and shopping centres, with the right skills when they are faced with difficult work situations.


A training rollout that was initially launched in March has expanded in response to the overwhelmingly positive response it has received, with the facility services provider now investing in training more team members across clients sites and all job roles. By the summer, 75 employees in the UK will have been trained as mental health first aiders.


John McPherson, ABM UK managing director, says: "Our teams are working amongst the public every day and we recognise the positive role that they can play in identifying those who are struggling with poor mental health and dealing with critical situations.  As we emerge from an extremely challenging time, this has never been more important.


"It is our duty to support our teams and equip them with the right skills and knowledge to manage these situations. It’s also vital that we help and support them to process those difficult experiences afterwards."


The mental health first aid training is provided by TalkOut over a series of sessions and focuses on developing the skills needed to help in a moment of crisis. On completion of the course, all individuals will be qualified as mental health first aiders.


Antony Marke, ABM Aviation managing director, says: "The aviation sector has seen significant challenges over the past thirteen months.  Many of our team have been on extended periods of furlough and, as a result, they may find returning to the workplace gives them varying levels of anxiety.  Having access to ‘in-house’ subject matter experts in their places of work, will ensure they feel fully supported and build their confidence in the early days."


Leanne Stant, Head of Mental Health at TalkOut, adds: "Mental health problems can present lots of difficult moments of crisis. Suicide and self-harm are big problems and should be treated carefully and compassionately. It’s so important that we equip those people on the ground being faced with someone in a moment of crisis with the right skills to manage the situation.


"ABM is leading by example here. Its commitment to supporting good mental health and wellbeing within the facilities management and aviation industry is commendable."


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