Cumbria hotel trains staff in mental health first aid

A hotel in Cumbria has introduced mental health first aid training for staff. 

Three senior managers at Abbey House Hotel and Gardens, which has a treatment room called The Beauty Room, have undergone training to help them spot the signs of mental ill-health in their colleagues and learn how to understand and help them in the workplace. 

Head chef Ashley Wood, marketing manager Yasmin Platt and events manager Gemma Murphy were the initial members of staff to take the mental health first aid training, run by SOA Safety, an emergency training school in Dalton-in-Furness.

Platt commented: “It has certainly changed the way in which I think about mental health, and also my perspective on the issue. I’m finding that I am far more aware of my colleagues’ behaviour and demeanour and am tuned in to the signs they may be having difficulties.”

The hotel’s general manager, John Horton, now wants to extend the programme further to other employees. 

He said: “We’re very keen at Abbey House Hotel and Gardens to do what we can to look after both the physical and mental health of our team.

“People who have mental health challenges can quite often internalise them, when the best thing to do is seek the appropriate help and support.

“Our mental health first aiders are not trained counsellors, however, they have been coached in what to look out for and the next steps to take, should they feel that a colleague is in need of support.”

Therapist Madeline Clarke uses Elemis, Gelish, OPI, Lava Shells and Airbase for treatments at The Beauty Room, where guests can have massages, facials, lash and brow treatments, nail services and make-up application. 

Image: marketing manager Yasmin Platt, head chef Ashley Wood and events manager Gemma Murphy

Birmingham-based The Essentials Beauty Salon hosted a mental health awareness coffee morning in May for clients.

Read our guide on supporting staff with mental health issues.