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G4S Mental Health Training Programme

You don’t need a calculator to figure out that with one in three people experiencing mental health problems each year in England and a workforce of 3,500 on one of G4S’ major Central Government contracts (rising to 4,500 by the end of 2021), a significant proportion of G4S staff who deliver this contract could be among those suffering.

Add into the equation the stressful nature of our Officers’ work and the issue of maintaining wellbeing and addressing mental health is absolutely critical.  

After all, it is not uncommon for members of our teams to witness behaviour traits of anxiety, depression and even suicide from the diverse range of people who visit the Government facilities secured by our staff on a daily basis. 
Some of the extreme situations that have presented to our staff delivering the contract in question include; 

- One of our Officers who physically caught a victim mid-air as they jumped over a balcony. 

- An officer who was forced to use a fire extinguisher to douse the flames of someone who had set themselves alight.
With serious situations like these occurring all too regularly, we recognised the need to have a better appreciation and insight into mental health problems and the creation of the training programme, which formed the basis of our award submission was the result. 
Under the programme, we have now trained more than 70 members of our contract management team, supervisors and the senior Trade Union team in Mental Health First Aid  (over 120 will be trained by Jan 2022). 

Our vision is to roll out this course to every Team Leader on the contract.
The aim of this training initiative is twofold:

- To arm senior members of our team with the skills to be alert to the warning signs of anxiety, stress, depression, suicide, PTSD, and obsessive behaviour and to give them the tools and resources to assist sensitively. 

- To  have qualified mental health first aiders in every area, who our people know are there for them and importantly know and trust they can approach to discuss their problems in confidence.
The two-day, face-to-face training is not designed to provide us with a department of counsellors but rather to give managers, supervisors, HR personnel, TU teams and Team Leaders the ability to spot the signs of mental ill-health and approach an individual sensitively in order to support them in the appropriate way. 

Those that have fallen unwell appreciate knowing that there are Mental Health First Aiders nearby who can be called on for help. It is also comforting for the entire G4S  workforce to know that we take the subject of mental health extremely seriously. 

Strategic Accounts Director Alan Thresher commented, “We take this issue extremely seriously. It is so important that our people feel supported and are equipped with the right skills to identify signs of anxiety and stress and respond appropriately.”