Mental Health – when do we start teaching it?

The conversation has been getting bolder and louder over the part decade or so on Mental Health.  Businesses are now putting in place some training around starting and managing a conversation when a change is noticed.  We know a lot about self-care and the importance of observing our self-care techniques as ‘non-negotiable’.

 

However, with the report published below, we can see how earlier intervention is essential. Check out the link below… the stats are shameful.

 

https://news.sky.com/story/teachers-to-work-with-nhs-to-support-mental-health-of-young-people-in-schools-11761403

 

1 in 9 of children in full-time education aged 5 to 15  has a diagnosable mental health condition.  Maybe read that again.

 

In 2017 there were 226 recorded suicides of people in full-time education including primary schools.  Again – shocking.

 

We know education about road safety has reduced road deaths.  We know regular brushing of our teeth reduces teeth decay.  We start learning these things at home before we’ve event gone to school.

 

Shouldn’t parents be talking openly to their children about feelings, kindness to others, it’s ok not to feel ok and it’s a strength to alway talk about our feelings?  Surely this would start to normalise mental health.

 

Of course not every parent is equipped to provide this guidance.

 

Schools have a lot on their curriculum.  Considering the huge cost to society, business, NHS, communities, families etc, isn’t it now worth making part of Ofsted’s school inspection look at the provision of mental health resources in our schools to nourish the future generations making them more robust in dealing with life issues?

 

The earlier the intervention the better the recovery.

 

Do we make a difference now or wait for the time bomb to stop ticking and just explode?

 

Growing Talent 22 starts – remarkable!

What’s remarkable? Lots of things – depending on who you ask!

 

For employers it’s likely the fact they recruit in a free, no risk way.  Selecting from a pre-screened pool of talent, employers don’t select those who can do the roles but those who have the ability to grow into their roles.  This is key.  The six week journey of Growing Talent enables both parties to be confident the match is right before the point of hire saving time and money.

 

For participants it’s likely the fact there is a permanent provisional job upfront – the prize they secure on successful completion.  They don’t have to rely on  trying to ‘sell’ their skills and potential through a cv to secure an interview nor explain gaps in skills, qualification, self-confidence if they manage to secure that elusive interview.

 

For JobCentre Plus (JCP) – it’s the fact their customers go into permanent jobs and learn skills to stay employed thereby not returning to benefits.  In addition, many of their customers not selected by an employer for a permanent role, learn from feedback given to enhance their future employment approaches.  While I quote 148 into permanent jobs – JCP will say the figure is much hire – which is great to hear!

 

For Care Leavers’ Organisations – employment is the critical key  to leaving care confidently.  Having a steady income enables everyone to make choices in their lives.  It gives us all control.  It isn’t enough to have somewhere safe to live without the means to pay the rent!

 

For me – it’s the fact a programme I designed, wrote and delivered is still being funded by a global financial services and is now on it’s 22nd programme!  I never expected this and shows the critical key of never doubting yourself – if you do, you’ll talk yourself out of doing anything!  If you keep going, you will find solutions for problems as they arise.  I also find it remarkable how difficult it is to get this unique, free tool to employers and those looking for work.

 

Seth Godin – talks about the Purple Cow.  When we have so much choice and so little time, we often don’t see what’s there unless it’s remarkable.  Cost & risk free recruitment without any catch is remarkable and still doesn’t get ‘word of mouth spread’  What are your thoughts on spreading the word?

 

 

 

 

Is it difficult to show good customer service when you don’t like your employer?

It’s well documented that helping others, smiling, giving the best possible service we can to others increases our positive mental health.

 

This is easy when we feel valued by our employers.  It’s a natural reaction when a customer asks for help or  raises an issue which could impact the business/other customers.  But what about if we don’t feel valued or empowered by our employers?  We’re already in a negative outlook situation.  Can we automatically switch on the positivity and charm to help others?

 

Clearly for the two floor assistants in a reputed high end retail chain of grocers I encountered over the weekend, they proved that some people can’t automatically be positive/helpful when they don’t feel valued….

 

I noticed a smashed bottle of whiskey in the drinks area.  Broken glass was spread across the floor.  Being a busy Saturday morning, there were many children out with their families – a nasty accident was clearly likely as was a law suit for the shop.  I saw two assistants talking nearby and raised the issue – neither said thank you for the ‘heads-up’ even when the customer who had knocked it over came back after failing to find someone to tell and apologised, the two were uninterested.

 

I wonder if their day might have gone better had they exercised good customer service with a smile?  After all ‘It’s not things in themselves that upsets us, but how we look at those things’ Epictetus – Greek Slave circa 55AD – still true today, don’t you agree?

 

 

New sales pitch – what do you think?

Over the three plus years I have been delivering Growing Talent, I’ve found it difficult to get new employers involved.  They love the uniqueness and success rate – and the fact it’s free! – but rarely put their jobs forward.

 

Instead of sending our short factual information, I’ve been advised to try something more ‘sales’ themed.

 

So I’m going to try the following but would be grateful to hear any thoughts…….

 

“Want to be part of the solution to London’s unemployment?

Want to develop raw talent into a priceless gem?

 

Growing Talent is an inclusive, free facility for bringing the unemployed and employers with permanent roles together on a maximum 12 week programme to secure new talent confidently. This is not an apprenticeship scheme but a genuine initiative that has proven to be a success for many employers and job seekers.

 

Our website has films and case studies from employers and their new employees – www.growing-talent.co.uk.

 

In short, employers select potential new hires from a pre-screened talent pool and trains them in their vacant role.  At the point of hire, both are confident on the match delivering sustained recruitment.  Open to anyone over 18 from all social and academic backgrounds, Growing Talent delivers diversity automatically.”

 

In Leah’s World…

Leah fell into Growing Talent as a Graduate in the Summer of 2015.  On Graduation she secured a work experience placement with JobCentre Plus.  She accompanied a JCP manager to the employer selection day to help out and ended up being interviewed and given a placement!

 

During her employment journey she has gone from receptionist to managing a multi-client building to running events and now manages two staff in delivering monthly newsletters, facts, challenges on a different subject in the world of mental health to 6 partner companies!

 

More importantly on a personal level she had never been abroad before.  Since the Summer of 2015 when she joined Growing Talent she has been to Italy, France, Spain & Portugal – three times!

 

The power of working!

 

Remember opportunities can come from unexpected events…………

Holistic Week – Growing Talent…..

This is the ‘soft skills’ section of Growing Talent’s 12 week programme.  Usually carried out halfway through.  It’s a time for the Growing Talent Associates to meet up again and encourage each other face-to-face as well as learn some wellbeing techniques and ‘kick back’ a little from their usual work timetable!

 

We returned to Southwark Cathedral were we held the Orientation Week back in early February!  At least no more presentations before senior managers!

So what did we cover?:

Monday – parts 1 & s of Mental Health First Aid – a global course resulting in a qualification as a MHFAider.  This is an intense four part global programme so we lightened the learning a little with Lesley’s 3Rs!

 

Lesley, seen above, is part of the Health & Safety team at PwC.  Her 3Rs are Refuel, Recycle and  Refresh. It’s all about what to eat, how much sleep, exercise all the usual things we need to consider when making choices.  It’s especially difficult doing this on a strict budget!

‘I got a lot of information which I’ll put into practice!’ ‘Another important segment that allowed growth within the unknown.’

Tuesday – saw parts 3 and 4 of the MHFA programme be completed.  This time, Healthy Bites  Nutrition was sandwiched  between the two sections.  This invaluable workshop by Kate from HBN (www.hbnutrition.org) dispels myths around diets, the latest fads and new guidelines – such as only 7 tsp of sugar a day.  Kate shares the cost savings in making your own food, cost comparison and ingredients as well as how to eat quickly prepared nutritious meals on a budget!

 

Kate below preparing the Associates for making their own Pot Noodle!

 

A good workshop for sustaining health both in and out of work” ” I know what food groups are now!’

 

Sharing why recycling waste is so important was Dan from Suez, on the left below, on Wednesday.  This got everyone thinking.  A quick roundtable showed the difference between residential recycling across boroughs.  Indeed one of the Associates who has never recycled was inspired to go through her bins!

 

 

Thursday we talked finance.  Covering the basics we should know around debt, regular payments budgets, and so on. It’s surprising how well received this workshop is but on reflection maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising.  After all, where do you learn this stuff if you don’t have supportive, informed parents? Does the Education system have the time to do this?

 

‘The 3 x thirds will be really useful’, ‘I learnt about saving money and ISAs – really useful when we start earning’, ‘this was the most important topic covered for me’ ‘I learnt how to plan ahead’ ‘One million % worth it.  I understand now how to be financially stable.’

In the afternoon it was off to do an Art project!  Terrifying for some!  Their task was to visit Tate Gallery in Bankside and select an item that ‘spoke’ to them.  This could be in a good or bad way.

 

Left to right above inside the Tate are Mokhtar, Leon, Zainab, Ilamathy, Stefan, Ashley, Sebastien & John.

 

Friday morning we had a good discussion on their visit to the Tate, why they selected their piece of art and what they would ask the artist……… then they had to draw it!  You can see the results in the feature photo.  So much laughter in the room.  For some it ignited a childhood love of drawing for others it opened their eyes to a possible new creative way to feed their soul during lunchtime break and outside of work.

 

After some paperwork we finished up the week at lunchtime.They guys presented me with a lovely gift before going home for a well deserved break!

 

On Monday they returned to their employer sites:  Zainab, Ashley & Mokhtar – Harrow Green, Craig, John & Ashling – Iron Mountain – Ashling had to work this week, Leon – Pertemps, Ilamathy – Red Personnel, Stefan – Mitie Connect and Sebastien at Invest In Buy To Let.

 

The World of Property Investment….

Growing Talent 12 (www.growing-talent.co.uk) is now firmly underway.  Reports so far are all good.

 

Yesterday I visited Sebastien who has a background in sales, abroad and at home.  With a passion for property but no experience he was a strong fit for Invest In Buy To Let who selected him to join them via the Growing Talent programme.

 

Two weeks in – the shine is not wearing off!  Cold calling, researching and evening events have meant Sebastien has been able to work with multiple people and learn quicker in situ.  He’s building his own client contacts and formulating strong relationships.

 

Luckily, Silin from Growing Talent 10 works for Shane, one of the directors in his other business Create A Business.  Based at the same venue, she can give Sebastien the encouragement doing the programme demands.

 

It always amazes me how some people write off those who are unemployed without knowing their stories, personalities etc.  Everyone on Growing Talent has to work full-time – often unsociable hours – for no money other than their benefits.  Grated, at the end there is a permanent job on offer where both employer and new employee have a confident match.  But the journey to that goal can be quite gruelling – especially the longer you’ve been out of work or the more negative, discouraging voices you have around you!

 

It takes a lot of tenacity and integrity to complete Growing Talent – definitely not for the faint hearted!

Employers…Recruit a better way…

We all know that growing our own fruit and veg is something special.  Nurturing it through all the stages from seed, seedling, shoot to full grown crop.  There’s something special about the effort to create something ourselves.  Of course, the taste is always far superior to shop brought.

 

I’m a firm believer people are the same as crops.  When they are invested in,  nurtured to their full potential and taught business skills from scratch, they learn quicker, better and deliver commitment for the opportunity received.

 

Growing Talent enables both the employer and unemployed potential new talent to grow and learn together.  Over a maximum 12 week period, invaluable lifelong skills are taught on the Orientation and Holistic weeks. A maximum of 10 weeks learning the vacant role in situ ensures a confident match.

 

Why pay recruitment fees?  Why recruit from a cv rather then actual knowledge on potential and attitude?

 

Growing Talent is free.  Why not give us a try?  The next programme commences in April.  Contact me for more details of your London based recruitment.

 

 

Theresa May & Mental Health

An encouraging interview with Sophie Ridge of Sky News and the PM was aired yesterday morning.

 

Initially, I felt a bit unenthused at the start of the interview.  Sophie seemed fixated on the single market.  She asked three times about if we were leaving the single market in favour of securing our borders.

 

This illustrated to me the blinkered, reporting some journalists fixate on to get ‘the story’.  Three times Theresa May explained there is no opportunity to stay in the single market as we’ve voted to leave.  The negotiations will bring a different relationship. Still Sophie persisted before moving on to other topics.

 

This is where my interest was renewed.

 

The PM is highlighting mental health resources especially for children – which is fantastic news.  She recognises the biggest issue is stigma.  If people felt able to talk about their issues there is proven evidence they don’t deteriorate and get help quickly.

 

The PM is making a speech 9.1.17 – it will be interesting to see what she says on this.

 

Mental Health is  core component of Growing Talent.  We strongly believe in training participants as First Aiders.  Indeed everyone on Growing Talent complete the two-day standard global course.  There are many reasons for this – a key one is to remove the stigma associated with Mental Health.  I’m glad the Government is finally catching up!

 

Let’s get talking!

 

 

New Year – New Way of Working

I chose this year not to make any new year resolutions.  Past performance shows none last despite the best intentions!

 

Instead, this year I thought about what would really make the strongest difference to me and deliver the biggest, positive impact on my life?

 

Like many self employed people and indeed employed, I had an ’empty in-tray’ ingrained in my work ethic.

 

‘If you clear your in-tray, you feel like you have achieved something’. Really – where did that come from?  I don’t actually remember being taught this but it’s the unseen DNA strand that has always been there.

 

Why spend time clearing an ‘in-tray’ when I could be meeting some amazing people, designing a great workshop, or painting my house?  I couldn’t answer that one.

 

We live in a truly 24-7 society – connected to the internet we are perceived by others as being available constantly.

 

When did it become the norm to read/type/send texts walking along the platform after getting of the train in rush hour – so dangerous, or juggling emails on our mobiles whilst trying not to spill our take out coffee?  Why can’t we wait until we reach the office?  Why can’t we get up and talk to colleagues two rows down rather than send them an e-mail?

 

We are in danger of having the life, innovation and creativity sucked out of us by our own thoughts/actions!

 

My pledge for 2016 is to take a breath, ensure I have taken the time to innovate, take notice of what is going on around me and engage with others.

 

If I have one or two things left in my in-tray at the end of the day, I will see that as a success because I have given myself the time to just be.

 

All good wishes to you for 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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