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Residential News | Wed 23 Jan 2019
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Two of our senior property professionals have taken part in specialist training, as part of our company’s commitment to promoting positive mental health.
Area manager, Chris O’Mahony, and head of residential lettings, Emma Kerrywood, are the first people from Dacres to take part in the course, which was run by Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA). The pair will now act as mental health champions, sharing their new knowledge and principals with the rest of the 160 plus team at Dacres.
Chris said: “Both Emma and I have experiences of close friends and relatives with mental health illnesses and we think it’s really important to look out for our colleagues. Since doing the course we feel more knowledgeable about how to identify if a colleague is struggling, and also how to offer support and guidance.”
According to MHFA in any one year, approximately one in four people will experience at least one diagnosable mental health issue.  Mental health is the largest single source of burden of disease in the UK and there is a limited understanding of mental health issues due to the long-standing stigma surrounding it.
Emma added: “We have a duty of care to our colleagues to support their mental health and well-being. The course gave us an insight into how it feels for people living with depression. We learnt that mental health and well-being travels up and down on a sliding scale and how to recognise the signs that people are struggling, as well as looking at how people cope with stress. The main message we both came away with was to ask how people are doing and to listen to their responses non-judgmentally.”
As a result of the training, Emma and Chris are working closely with  HR manager, Rebecca Reeves, to design and implement a mental health programme to promote good mental health, and provide support for employees who are experiencing mental ill health including anxiety or depression.

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