Started MHFA training
PwC is a large professional services network with over 20,000 employees in the UK. It takes its employees’ health and wellbeing extremely seriously, and its mental health programme is a key component of its overall ‘Be Well, Work Well’ employee wellbeing approach. PwC has taken an in-house approach, training its own set of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructors so it has the capability internally to deliver MHFA England training across the firm on an ongoing basis.
Introduced as a way of building practical mental health skills, MHFA England training is not only better-equipping the firm’s people to provide support on an individual basis, but is also helping change the culture, break down stigma, and set the tone on mental health for the whole organisation.
Since early pilot activity in 2016, PwC has made MHFA England training an integral part of the mental health programme that supports its 20,000 employees.
To date PwC has trained three fully-qualified MHFA instructors. This in-house approach has ensured that MHFA England training can be continually delivered across the firm.
The uptake and interest in MHFA England training provided by these in-house MHFA instructors has been extremely positive. The training is now a key component of the skillset for Career Coaches (line managers) and senior business and HR leaders and is being aligned with existing mental health and wellbeing support systems, such as the firm’s Partner mental health advocates, network of wellbeing champions, and the support provided by a range of partner healthcare providers.
"We can already see anecdotally that people are more confident discussing mental health as a result of the training. We are now looking to develop impact measures to help refine our approach on an ongoing basis.”
MHFA England Two Day and Half Day courses have been delivered alongside internally developed awareness-raising materials, plus e-learns and a team discussion framework developed with the Samaritans. Feedback has been extremely positive so far, with key business leaders attending and promoting the training, demonstrating a top-down approach. Progress has been made in embedding an open culture when it comes to talking about mental health, and the firm is continuing with its activity to breakdown stigma, educate and increase awareness.
Laura Hinton, Chief People Officer, PwC UK, commented: “Mental Health First Aid England training sits at the heart of our skill-focused mental health programme. It is central to the behavioural change we are working on, and essential for the development of our senior business leaders, Career Coaches and the people they look after. It has been very well received so far and there is huge enthusiasm and appetite for it. We can already see anecdotally that people are more confident discussing mental health as a result of the training. We are now looking to develop impact measures to help refine our approach on an ongoing basis.”
The firm plans to expand its in-house approach, with a further wave of instructors being lined up for training. The eventual aim is to have at least one fully-qualified MHFA instructor within each division, as well as a number of central instructors who can work flexibly across all divisions wherever needed.
There are also plans in place for MHFA England training to be rolled out across the firm, with all Career Coaches (line managers) to complete the internal awareness-raising session and those handling complex cases also completing the MHFA England Half Day programme. Goals have also been set for all senior business and HR leaders to train as Mental Health First Aiders, including Board members.