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Mental health training for frontline housing staff

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Health and also in Communities, Housing

Mental health training for frontline housing staff Mental health training for frontline housing staff

A housing trust has invested in a series of training sessions for its frontline staff to raise their understanding of mental health problems that may be suffered by tenants.

Over 50 members of staff from Southway Housing Trust attended the full day ‘Understanding Mental Health’ course, which is aimed at workers who deal with tenants in crisis and those who may become suicidal.

The training taught the staff about common mental health conditions, including signs and symptoms (depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis), managing stress, supporting tenants in distress, and how to signpost tenants most in need.

Julie Ryder, director and founder of HearFirst, the firm that ran the training, said: “The training has resulted in front line staff having an increased awareness and understanding of issues around mental health.

"It is important for staff in front line roles to have training, which reinforces good practice and enables them to feel fairer, more confident and professional in their role. Having mental health awareness training helps organisations meet their legal obligation under the Equality Act as well as making good business sense.”

The trust, which owns and manages almost 6,000 homes across south Manchester, made it mandatory for front line staff to attend.

Income manager Helen Sharples said: “With many changes to the benefits system, housing tenants in particular, are under increased pressure with paying their rent, managing their money and avoiding getting into debt.

“These pressures can lead to tenants displaying symptoms of stress, anxiety and mental ill-health and in some cases those becoming suicidal. The Understanding Mental Health training delivered by HearFirst, has helped our staff to spot and identify how they can help tenants but more importantly, signpost those to get help with their circumstances.”

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