SOSE launch virtual mental health training for its staff

Just over 7 months since the new South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) went live and 30% of its workforce have signed up to become Mental Health First Aiders.

To mark International Stress Awareness Week, SOSE launched virtual training last week provided by Come ALIVE UK, a training provider that seek to transform the culture around mental health within companies and organisations. 

SOSE went live as the new Economic Development Agency for Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders during lockdown on 1 April. 

At that time, SOSE only had 24 members of staff. Since then the team have held inductions and recruited over 60 staff during lockdown and 20 of those are taking part in the training.

Interim Chief Executive of SOSE, Nick Halfhide said: “Obviously, we went live during the most unusual and challenging circumstances and the majority of our workforce have joined us during lockdown.

“At the same time, we are a brand new organisation which continues to evolve. That in itself brings with it many challenges, so it has been our absolute priority to look after our team, many of whom have never met – to ensure we do all we can to support them. 

“We are delighted to work collaboratively with Come ALIVE UK to help break down some of the barriers within workplaces.  It’s a key area that we are extremely aware of and want to do all we can to ensure we provide crucial support to individuals experiencing mental health problems.”    

Catriona Davies, Come ALIVE UK partner said: “Come Alive UK are delighted to be working with SOSE and are impressed at their understanding of how important supporting Mental Health is and in particular, in the current climate.

“We created our bespoke package, which includes First Aid For Mental Health SQA accredited training, all delivered virtually, to ensure that SOSE employees feel able to access positive mental health support, within the workplace.”

Chair of the SOSE Board, Professor Griggs OBE added: “The health and wellbeing of all our staff, and stakeholders we support across the South of Scotland is of utmost importance during these difficult times.   

“We are acutely aware how challenging it can be for individuals to work from home and we are really pleased that over 30% of our staff are undergoing this training to be able to be there for colleagues going forward.”