Supporting mental wellbeing at Little Heath Reablement Centre

10th Oct 2022 - Written by Brunelcare

Reading time: 3 minutes

This World Mental Health Day we spoke to Bronny Payne, Business Manager at Little Heath Reablement Centre, about how she and the Little Heath team support colleagues’ mental wellbeing.

World Mental Health Day is celebrated on the 10th of October every year, and is an opportunity to talk about the importance of mental health, why we need to talk about it, and how to support it.

Could you tell us a bit about your role?

I work as Business Manager at Little Heath Reablement Centre, which encompasses a range of duties. On a day-to-day basis I manage all of our administrative tasks, which can involve payroll, processing DBS checks, arranging training for our colleagues, to name a few. I’m also in charge of recruitment for Little Heath, so I support events and respond to applications.

A big part of my role is supporting colleagues and new starters, whether that’s answering queries, providing them with support, or simply lending an ear when colleagues need someone to talk to.

How do you and your team support mental wellbeing at Little Heath?

There are a number of ways that we try to promote positive mental wellbeing here: Lewis (Reablement Centre Manager) and I are both trained Mental Health First Aiders, so we make sure all our colleagues know that we are fully trained and able to provide support. We also provide a list of all mental health first aiders across the charity, so colleagues know there are lots of people available to speak to.

Lewis and I also operate an open-door policy at Little Heath. Everyone knows our doors are always open, so they can come and see us when they need support. I’ve set up my office with an armchair and posters to make the space more inviting. There are mental health resource packs pinned up on the board for colleagues to take, which I also put in the staff room in case people want to take one anonymously.

We always remind people that there’s never a bad time to speak to us, our offices are welcoming spaces and we’re there for any colleagues that need support.

I occasionally bring my Labradoodle, Rory, who our colleagues and guests love. He’s really gentle. I think dogs cheer people up anyway, but he’s just so big and smiley that even people who aren’t dog people get cheered up by him.

How do you use your offices and communal spaces to promote mental wellbeing?

We try to make our spaces as welcoming and positive as possible: we’ve got various positivity quotes dotted around the building and staff room, with booklets and other mental wellbeing resources for colleagues to read.

One initiative that we’ve found to be really successful is our colleague compliment cards. We created the cards to encourage colleagues to write compliments for each other, and I think it’s a great way to bring some positivity to Little Heath.

Our colleagues are already so encouraging to each other, but having the compliments written down is a nice opportunity to read how appreciated they are. It’s a good morale booster.

We display all our compliment cards on a board in reception, which gets replaced each month as we get so many cards that it fills up so quickly!

Tell us a bit about your Mental Health First Aider Training – what was that like?

My Mental Health First Aider training was really good, I found it so insightful. One reassuring thing we learned was that you can’t really say the wrong thing, as long as you’re there for somebody and supporting them and trying your best.

Our trainer was great, we were given a booklet of useful resources, and he sent us lots of useful links to share with our team. It was a good opportunity to learn more about mental health and connect with colleagues across the charity.

Why is supporting colleagues’ mental health at Little Heath so important?

It’s important because there isn’t an awful lot around. I think if you were to look into things yourself, it could be difficult to find the right information, so we like to have useful resources on-hand for those who need them.

I think it’s reassuring to know that if you’re struggling, there’s someone you can go to and say “I need help”, and we try to be those people. The team know we’ve had the training and have good resources, we’re always here, and it’s never any trouble. The staff and guests’ wellbeing is our main priority, so there’s never going to be anything more important.

Find out more about mental health and how to get support at the Mental Health Foundation website: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health