A North-East training company with the community at heart has formed a team designed to provide positive outcomes for those suffering mental health concerns.
Orangebox Training Solutions has appointed a group of mental health workplace advocates tasked with signposting people who need support when they head to its headquarters at Hartlepool Marina.
Tranquility House, the home of Orangebox and a variety of other employers, welcomes dozens of visitors every day through its doors and there are procedures in place to help anyone struggling.
Orangebox’s director of development and innovation, Michael Glenn, and Tranquility House’s receptionist Naomi Worrall are fronting the new team at a time there is growing awareness of the need to support others in the workplace.
Michael said: “It’s the right thing to do with societal pressure increasing on everyone we come across. There is an onus on us to recognise this in who we come across in personal and working life and look to support those who have mental health crises.
“It may be that in the moment someone will want to open up to us and then we can put them to the right recovery services. The key is, without that opportunity, they might go it alone until they hit such a crisis where they can’t function. We want to be there for them.”
The Orangebox team at Tranquility House will host events to provide opportunities for people to talk over a cup of coffee in the canteen. A bi-monthly mental health newsletter is also planned to highlight symptoms of certain conditions.
While the mental health advocates will be there for Orangebox staff to talk to, the support options will be available for anyone who wants to visit the business centre.
Michael added: “Naomi is the beating heart and can pick up on body language in the client facing role she has. She gets to know people and knows the names of those coming into the building.
“It means we can look for signs of those experiencing mental health problems and we are doing this because we have the qualifications to apply to the workplace.
“We all want to be mentally healthy. We are not intervening, but we are providing access, the next step or help for someone who might need it.
“There is a huge link between people’s ability to do the job and how they are coping. This move is reflective of the people-centric culture within Simon Corbett’s Orangebox.”
Orangebox has been keen to provide a platform for employees and visitors to know they will be listened to, whether there are issues with bereavement, gambling, depression or suicide.
Naomi – who has been on her own healing journey following the sudden heart attack and death of her partner eight years ago – said: “We are not mental health professionals, but we care and we will do the responsible signposting, nurture a handover to the organisation that is best suited, to help you.
“There is a level of responsibility there on our part to do things right and we want to deliver the help and support required.
“The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy training I completed last year was a major part of how I can now recognise mental health. It helped me to deal with my personal mental health and I feel you understand it more when you’ve experienced it first hand.”