SLC encourages staff to open up about Mental Health on Blue Monday

15 January 2018

SLC is helping its staff beat ‘Blue Monday’ by encouraging them to be open and talk to each other and to a trained Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAiders) about mental health in the workplace.

This Monday (15 January) is known as ‘Blue Monday’ as it’s thought to be the day when people are most likely to experience the post Christmas blues.

The Student Loans Company is using the date to hold a number of ‘Tea and Talk’ sessions with its MHFAiders – reminding staff that help is available should they experience mental health issues at this or any other time of year.

SLC launched its MHFA initiative last year as and since then 46 members of staff across the Company’s UK sites have become trained MHFAiders who can support colleagues experiencing mental health issues and where appropriate signpost them to professional help.

Jackie Gallacher, from The Spark, who provided the training to Glasgow based staff, said: “SLC is one of a growing number of forward thinking companies investing in its people and proactively promoting good mental health in the workplace. It's great to see how it has developed a robust network of trained MHFAiders who are ready to support their colleagues if they need help.”

The Company’s approach has attracted the attention of other employers in the area including including ScottishPower and the West of Scotland Housing Association, who are hoping to use the SLC model to set up a similar scheme for their employees.

SLC HR Director, John Evans, said: “We take the mental health of colleagues very seriously. Good mental health is every bit as important as good physical health and we need to ensure that we care for each other in a way that you would expect from a responsible employer.

“Over the past few months we have introduced a number of practical initiatives aimed at promoting good mental health, including our network of Mental Health First Aiders and the feedback so far has been good. We'll continue building on this as we learn more about how we can best support colleagues and ensure that Mental Health matters stay high on our agenda.”