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River Canal Rescue

Following delivery of our one-day Mental Health Awareness for Employees training course

River Canal Rescue (RCR) delivers a membership-based service which covers canals and rivers throughout the UK. In addition to 24/7 breakdown and recovery assistance, the firm also offers a variety of services to members including repairs, servicing and boat handling and maintenance courses. An important part of the team’s work is to perform rescues, re-floats and attend emergencies.

RCR is very aware their ‘front line’ staff and engineers are continually helping people in what can be very stressful situations. Their 2017 figures show they attended 137 major incidents with a further 4691 call-outs for help. As an organisation, RCR is keen to break down the stigma surrounding mental health. Office Manager, Charlotte Perry, contacted us as she was looking to run an interactive course which would benefit staff by raising awareness of the most common mental health conditions, offer an overview of their signs and symptoms and an understanding of how to practically support others.

Charlotte comments: “As a company, we’re keen to promote positive attitudes towards mental health and this course was brilliant in helping us understand in-depth, the reasons for certain behaviours. It certainly gave all attendees increased confidence in their ability to support people with mental health issues.

The feedback from staff who attended was warm and echoed Charlotte’s sentiment. In response to being asked how the training would improve their work performance, one participant responded: “A – because this will have brought our team closer together, B – because I’ve learnt better ways to support people and C – because I’ve learnt better ways for myself to overcome issues that can/could turn into poor mental health.

Our trainer, Dawn Hardman, who delivered the training was impressed by RCR’s enthusiasm: “The team welcomed this training with open arms – they were keen to gain some insight into why emotional well-being is so often compromised and were looking for practical solutions for work and personal situations. I was honoured to spend the day with such a passionate and committed group of delegates.

RCR plans to enrol more staff on future Mental Health Awareness sessions and run a follow-up Mental Health First Aid course later in the year. RCR also hopes to become the first leisure marine company accredited as a Mental Health First Aider and intends to consolidate this knowledge and achieve Mental Health First Aid Champion status.

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