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H&H Group are pioneering mental health awareness to all staff

Richard Rankin, Chief Executive of the Group and Andy Jackson, Managing Director for H&H Reeds.

World Mental Health Day is being held this year on 10th October 2019 and on this day H&H Group Plc  will be fully focused on the mental wellbeing of all its staff through special events being held across their offices for the second year running.

Mental Wellbeing Breakfasts will be held simultaneously across the H&H Group’s offices in Carlisle, Cockermouth, Penrith, Grange-over-Sands, Kendal, Penrith and Durham.  Starting at 8.30am, it will be a chance for all employees to pause for a breath, get together to chat, enjoy breakfast and acknowledge the importance of mental health and wellbeing.

Richard Rankin, Chief Executive of the Group believes that a healthy workforce isn’t just about physical health but also the wellbeing of the mind, which if not in the right balance can then affect physical health: “On 10th October we will be joining together as a wider team to celebrate World Mental Health Day.  I say celebrate, because it is imperative in this day and age, that the subject is no longer taboo, and that we recognise the importance of mental health in our personal and work lives.

“I believe it is a very serious subject that we have a responsibility to tackle, and although we are taking this day to focus on the subject, we need to ensure that it remains at the fore-front of our minds every day of the year and not just give the subject lip service on special dates.”

To ensure this, six members of staff across the H&H Group of companies have been specially trained in mental health first aid on subjects such as how to recognise the signs that someone is struggling, how to support mental health at work and how to manage and reduce stress.   This training will be further expanded and enhanced, ultimately ensuring that every arm of the business has a nominated Mental Health First Aider.

Richard continues: “My hope is that we can remove the stigma associated with mental health and rather than seeing it as a weakness, see it as a strength when an employee admits that they need some support.  We need to open up a discussion about it here at H&H Group and we don’t want anyone to feel that they must hide in shame from any of their struggles, big or small.  Not only is it essential that H&H recognise and are open with our people about mental health and wellbeing, but it is the key reason behind choosing MIND as one of our charities of the year.”

Andy Jackson, who is Managing Director for H&H Reeds the print arm of the Group, and who attended the training added: “It was an excellent awareness-raising course with some very practical advice on how to normalise the subject within the workplace.  I am proud that as a company we are prioritising mental health as much as physical health, with first aiders now in place for each.

“Since we have been running the breakfasts and similar initiatives, people are already more open and ready to talk, give help and support and awareness is continuing to grow.  These are all positive steps for our business and the wider picture.”

The World Health Organisation, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, recognises World Mental Health Day on this date every year and this year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is suicide prevention.

With a diverse range of interests, the H&H Group PLC operates as a holding company, with seven successful operating companies encompassing Livestock and Machinery Auctioneers, Valuers, Chartered Surveyors, Property and Estate Agents, Auction Rooms, Commercial Printers, Graphic Designers and Insurance Brokers.  The H&H Group head office is located at Borderway Mart Carlisle, with its operating companies based at premises throughout the region, from Durham, Northumberland, Cumbria and the Scottish Borders.

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