Oldbury firm offers staff increased support in Mental Health Awareness Week

Leading security specialist, GMS Group, is offering its 500 staff extra support to tackle the “hidden” challenges around mental health as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

While security work has an image based on authority and physical strength, Black Country-based GMS aim to raise awareness to help prevent staff reaching crisis before they seek help with mental health challenges.

Working with West Bromwich-based charity Kaleidoscope Plus Group, one of the good causes which GMS supports with fundraising, the company will be providing staff with tips and advice as well as giving colleagues information on the help available. GMS head office
staff have also planned a MHAW fundraising drive to raise funds for Kaleidoscope.

The firm recognises that security staff mental health can be impacted by the scenarios where they operate: night shifts, pressured working situations, anti-social hours and extended periods of isolation. The management are helping staff overcome dated preconceptions of
security employees projecting “invincible” images to access mental health support over stress, relationship issues, finance, family well-being or the impact of the pandemic.

For Mental Health Awareness Week, information will be placed around the sites where GMS staff operate. Supervisors will be invited to take part in workshops to help them manage staff and those who have “buddy” roles, where designated staff have been trained to offer help, will be checking in with colleagues to offer support on mental health.

GMS, which recently moved its HQ to Oakham Rd, Oldbury, is using the annual awareness week to build upon its previous work supporting staff on mental health. GMS already offer a stress counselling service to employees and have trained mental health first aiders in the business.

Neil Male, CEO of GMS Group and a passionate supporter of mental health prevention work, said the management of GMS recognised the need to help employees ask for help with mental health challenges. Neil said:

“With more than 90% of GMS staff being male, as well as employing colleagues working in situations which can be intense and require risk management, we are aware of the national mental health situation and want to ensure our team to be supported.

“We do not want colleagues to reach a crisis point before the issues need resolving and want every member of staff to feel they can engage with the support which can help them, whatever they are facing. The annual Mental Health Awareness Week is a welcome opportunity to build upon the efforts we make throughout the year to support colleagues.

“Everyone has a part to play in improving the mental health situation so we are taking on the challenge of offering additional activity after the tough year the nation has faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Organised by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from 10-16 May 2021. The event promotes prevention, supporting people before issues emerge or as they experience problems. Research by the Mental Health Foundation has shown the Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact.


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