Corby's biggest employer puts staff wellbeing at the heart of its business for World Mental Health Day

The RS Components mental health first aid team
The RS Components mental health first aid team

RS Components officially opened a staff wellness room to coincide with a day of events for World Mental Health Day.

The firm, that has 2,000 staff at its site in Birchington Road, gave staff the opportunity to chat about their own mental health and ran a series of talks designed to break down the barriers around the topic.

The company's new wellbeing room

The company's new wellbeing room

Activities held across the business included internal guest speakers and a talk from the Samaritans – with local organisations such as Corby Mind, Teamwork Trust and the local police also attending the day-long event.

There was an opportunity for employees to try out mindfulness and meditation taster sessions, various arts and crafts, and enjoy a demonstration of HeadSpace, an app-based meditation platform.

The RS wellbeing room was unveiled, providing a place for employees to go to if they are feeling like they need time out - offering a quiet, comfortable space in which to gather their thoughts, talk to someone within the organisation if they need to, or be met by friends or family if they need to be taken home.

The room has comfy sofas, natural light, refreshments and a phone line.

RS Components Europe, Middle East and Africa president Mike England spoke to staff about his own mental health in an effort to help them open up. He said: "People have come forward with some pretty amazing stories and have really put themselves out there.

"People look after their bodies more than their minds and we need to change that.

"I did a talk about my own life experiences because it shouldn't be a taboo subject for anyone. I spoke about how I coped with difficult times at school, about when I was in a wheelchair for six months and when my six-year-old was diagnosed with cancer in 2012. People will have good times and bad times and it's important they know they can seek help at an early opportunity.

"It doesn't need to be a crisis - staff here need to know that there is support here for them at all times."

RS has long been committed to the mental health awareness agenda, and has supported local causes such as mental health charity Corby Mind, to which it donated over £500 earlier this year. This was to help fund counselling, emotional support and high-quality mental health services for those who do not qualify for NHS interventions.

RS also runs mental health first aid courses delivered by its occupational health nurses in Corby and Nuneaton distribution centres, which are designed for anyone to attend.

There are 70 mental health first aiders on the award-winning team headed-up by Gladys Mazani who said: "We are trying to make sure our employees are well-supported.

"We're trained to spot mental health conditions at the early stages. It's important to have someone you can talk to and offload to.

"If I am bleeding I get a first aider at work to put a plaster on it. Your mental wellbeing should be exactly the same."

The company has also begun its GardeneRS scheme to allow staff to spend their breaks getting back to nature and transform the courtyard into a garden where they can grow produce that will be on offer in the staff canteen. Gardening is known to promote both physical and mental wellbeing.