Mental health awareness event to return to Aberdeen in 2021


A week-long event designed to improve the mental health of city workers will return in 2021 as part of long-term plans to improve their well-being.

Aberdeen City Council’s first Awareness Week took place in October 2019 to coincide with World Mental Health Day.

The week featured a series of wellness events and sessions, and was also open to staff from the NHS Grampian and the Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, no event took place last year – but now the local authority has announced that it is planning its return in October.

Plans for the event will be discussed by the board’s staff governance committee next Monday.

A report to the committee reads: “Aberdeen City Council Mental Health Awareness Week was created to highlight the value we place on the mental health of our employees by creating a culture where employees can talk. mental health and have support available to enable them to seek help when needed and is also open to our colleagues in the NHS and the Aberdeen Health & Social Care partnership. “

Staff Mental Health Council Action Plan

Aberdeen City Council Awareness Week is a separate event from the UK-wide version, which takes place each May.

The board’s “action plan” to protect staff well-being is also to train employees to become mental health first aiders.

In the 12 months covered by the report, the number of employees who became skilled first aiders rose to 72, 32 more than the previous year.

More than 600 employees have also taken training courses organized as part of the town hall’s partnership with the SAMH association.

The authority has created what it calls a first aid network to ensure its staff are supported.

He says that better support for the mental well-being of staff can cut costs by reducing the number of sick people, while helping to retain workers longer and increasing customer satisfaction.

Rescuers in place to support colleagues

The committee’s report says rescuers “serve as a trained point of contact for employees who need help and provide advice on available resources. They are all trained volunteers, independent of the hierarchy and offering support in complete confidentiality ”.

He adds, “Mental health rescuers were approved following implemented guidelines that required them to be asked about the role and provide referrals.

“Following the mental health first aid training provided by North East Scotland College, the mental health coordinator provides them with support and a mechanism is in place to capture interactions with employees anonymously. “

Jo Anderson, Director of Influence and Change at SAMH, said: “At SAMH, we know that taking care of our mental health is just as important as taking care of our physical health.

“We are proud of our work with Aberdeen City Council which has clearly demonstrated its continued commitment to the mental health of its staff and the people of Aberdeen.

“It’s so encouraging to not only see a substantial growth in the number of mental health first aid workers in the city, but to have also welcomed over 600 people to our mental health and suicide prevention training sessions through SAMH Workplace. , our initiative to give Scottish organizations the tools they need to support good mental health.

“We look forward to reaching even more people through our partnership in the future.”

The mental health action plan will be discussed by advisers on Monday.

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