Morson Training is delighted to be shortlisted for the Transport for London Supplier Awards 2019.
Following on from their Best Apprenticeship win in last years awards, Morson Training has been shortlisted once again, this time in the category of Best Health Initiative, with a focus on mental health.
The TfL Supplier Awards recognise suppliers to the infrastructure that work collaboratively with TfL to help make the transport network more innovative, address underrepresentation in the workplace and protect the environment.
Experts point to mental health as being the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK. The average person spends 90,000 hours of their life at work, but poor mental health can impact productivity, progression and wider wellbeing. Millions of workdays are lost annually because of mental illness, at a cost of £billions to UK employers. Within Morson, specifically, workforce absences have increased year-on-year; short-term absences for reasons of anxiety, stress, depression and other mental health concerns have also increased. To understand the impact of this across the industry, we undertook a multi-sector survey exploring mental health experiences in the workplace and found that 1 in 10 had considered taking their own life. Almost half (46%) were living with a mental health condition, but hadn’t informed their employer, with 55% of those saying one of the main reasons why was because they were either unaware of any support available or they felt that their workplace lacked in any assistance for mental illness.
TfL was the first rail leader to sign the Time to Change pledge in 2011, designed to tackle stigma and improve workplace mental health and wellbeing. Wanting to demonstrate that we take steps to mirror and build on our clients’ mental health strategies, we opted to roll out a mental health-focused initiative targeted with improving the statistics from our survey and ensuring all our Operatives feel encouraged to seek support if struggling with mental health related issues. As such, we committed to Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA)England – a robust, seven-day course for individuals who seek to act as reference points within organisations to spot mental health triggers in workforce, including those of our contractors. The course is designed to train individuals to have the confidence to intervene and support those suffering with typical symptoms of mental health strain, from a change in personality or attitude to work, to depression, anxiety, stress, panic attacks and addictive behaviours – things which can have a devastating impact on everyday life.
Since initiating the campaign, we have trained 40+ MHFAs, who range from Labourers to Directors – so that basic needs can be met at every level – with our entire workforce having access to a first aider within a 45-minute commute thanks to having multiple trained people in each of our key regions.
Graham Timbers, operations director (rail) at the Morson Group, said:
“After it was revealed that statistically 1 in 10 of our Operatives have considered taking their own lives, and almost half are living with mental health conditions, we implemented the Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) programme to encourage our workforce to seek support if they felt they couldn’t cope or were at risk of harming themselves.
“Our 40 MHFAs - who range from Labourers to Directors - are available to support every individual, offering step-by-step guidance for all on how to foster good mental health in a personal and team capacity so that collectively, we can improve mental health support not just for our contractors and TfL, but the rail industry as a whole.
“Since launching the scheme, more than 130 interventions have taken place relating to instances of depression, anxiety and stress. With numerous Operatives already expressing how an MHFA has supported them when they were struggling to cope, we are demonstrating how significant an impact this type of initiative can have in our industry, and we encourage other organisations to pursue it, too.”