Royal Mail is committed to effective support and signposting for mental health conditions. People in all walks of life can be affected directly or indirectly and at any point in their lives.

The aim of this module is to raise awareness of mental health and ensure that you can respond appropriately and signpost colleagues to support. Please participate fully and give your time to this important subject.

Use the mental health compass to help you navigate your way to supporting yourself and others.

We're going to begin by watching a video that shows that mental health problems might be much closer to home than you think...

click the video to play

We're now going to hear a few words from Dr Shaun Davis that explains Royal Mail's response.

click the video to play

scroll down to learn how to recognise the signs that somebody might be experiencing mental health issues

How to recognise the signs that somebody might be experiencing mental health issues

During a lifetime it is usual to feel the full spectrum of human emotions, life with all its changes and challenges can be difficult for us all at times.

However when we become affected or overwhelmed by feelings or a situation for a prolonged period we can start to show signs of becoming mentally unwell. The sooner we can get support and treatment if appropriate the better.

scroll down to learn more about the symptoms of mental health conditions

Mental health conditions

There are a number of Mental Health conditions and most of us will experience at least one of these at some point in our lives.

scroll down to read about how to help your colleagues

How can I help my colleagues?

Remember ACT now

Our health is important and that includes not only our physical but our mental health. As part of a team or regular attendee within a workplace, you may become aware of changes in your colleagues. For some people mental health symptoms will fade in a short time and for others they will develop into more serious mental health conditions.

There is no set timescale when you may want to ‘check in’ with someone as we are all unique however if in doubt always ask ‘How are you’. It is better to ask and offer support than wait.

There are 3 simple steps that you can take that could help to start making things better:

Now let's try that out...

Helping Hannah

Hannah has approached you as she is suffering from anxiety and wants support but is concerned that it'll be perceived negatively by colleagues.

Ask yourself...

Now let's try another situation...

Supporting Charlie and his son

Charlie's son Tom has been feeling really low lately, he hasn't been to a doctor yet. This has been putting pressure on Charlie, he's struggling to be there for Tom and also do his job.

Ask yourself...

Jane's crisis

Jane is overwhelmed, her issues at work and at home have simply become too much. Jane feels like she has lost control and doesn't know what to do or where to turn...

Ask yourself...

scroll down to read about some useful phrases to use

Things not to say

The scenarios you've just looked at will have shown you that it's not always easy to know what to say. It's also important to think about how you're saying it.

Some phrases put up barriers, make people feel uncomfortable and that they aren't being understood. Here are some examples to try and avoid:

  • Stop feeling sorry for yourself
  • Pull yourself together
  • I don’t know why you have told me this?
  • You’ll snap out of it soon
  • I feel that way too sometimes but I just get on with it.

Try using some the phrases below, they can be really helpful in a challenging conversation"

  • It’s ok to feel that way
  • It’s good that you have told someone
  • Telling someone is the start of getting the help you need
  • What’s the best way I can support you?
  • With help and support you can feel much better than you do now.

scroll down to read more about what to do in a crisis

What should I do in a crisis?

Don't suffer in silence


Scroll down to read about suicidal feelings

Suicidal Feelings

Suicidal feelings can be frightening and painful for the person who is experiencing them, as well as for their partner, family, friends and colleagues. They may include:

What causes suicidal feelings?

There are different reasons why someone might experience suicidal feelings. There may be an obvious cause, such as a particular event or problem. It could be because of a combination of different factors. There may also be no obvious reason.

Suicidal feelings may appear suddenly or develop gradually over time. Some factors that could contribute to someone feeling suicidal include:

  • Experiencing mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety or psychosis
  • Long-term physical illness
  • Difficult life experiences, such as losing a job, the end of a relationship, bereavement or trauma
  • Relationship problems with a partner, friends or family
  • Experiencing prejudice, discrimination and social exclusion from others for whatever reason, including sex, race, culture or religion
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • A history of self-harm - although for most people self-harm is not about trying to take their life; people who self-harm are more likely to take their lives than people who don’t, either intentionally or accidentally.

What should I do in an emergency?

If someone has attempted suicide, you should ring 999 and stay with them until the ambulance arrives.

If you’re worried that someone is at immediate risk of taking their own life, you should stay with that person and take one of the following steps:

  • Encourage them to call the 24/7 phone line Feeling First Class Support on 0800 6888 777
  • Encourage them to ring the Samaritans, 08457 90 90 90, open 24 hours a day
  • Contact their GP for an emergency appointment or the out of hours service
  • Call their Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), if they have one
  • Ring 999 or NHS direct (111), free of charge, from any landline or mobile phone
  • Go to the nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E) department.

If you feel someone is in immediate danger of suicide and will not approach anyone for help, you may want to think about contacting social services or their GP. Under the Mental Health Act 1983, a person can be treated without their consent. This means that they will be sectioned.

The assessment of whether someone should be sectioned usually involves an approved social worker, two doctors and/or a relative. This is, inevitably, a heavy responsibility and can lead to the person being detained under the Mental Health Act. It might be a good idea to talk this through with someone you trust or you could call the 24/7 phone line Feeling First Class Support on 0800 6888 777.

If other colleagues are present during this situation, they may find this distressing and they should be offered support. You too may need to access support. To access such support you should call First Class Support, and provide the phone number to your team. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Telephone: 0800 6888 777 (further information can be found on www.rmgfirstclasssupport.co.uk). You can access counselling direct through First Class Support.

scroll down to read about the resources available to you

Internal Resources

The Wellbeing Toolkit, available via the intranet link below, contains links to the following resources, you may want to bookmark these links so that you've got them close to hand.

Feeling First Class

www.feelingfirstclass.co.uk is a wellbeing website for employees (FFC1 to register). Contains proactive health advice and Online Stress Tool

First Class Support

24/7 free and confidential phone line (0800 6888777) and website www.rmgfirstclasssupport.co.uk, providing employee assistance

Feeling First Class – Stress

Access to stress guidance and the ‘Guided Conversation for Stress’ on how to support an employee experiencing distress.

First Class Mental Health

Useful information to support the wellbeing of colleagues including, Mental Health Support Guide: Suicide; five Mental Health Foundation videos; information on the ‘Time to Change’ pledge and links to helpful websites. There is also a link to SuccessFactors for managers to book onto a one day Mental Health Awareness course.

First Class Fitness

A link to the RMG gyms website - http://royalmailfitness.co.uk

First Class Lifestyle

Links to useful websites and downloadable PDFs on health topics such as smoking, diet and alcohol

Mental Health Support - Suicide Prevention Guide for managers and employees

Click here to open the Suicide Prevention Guide for managers and employees

Wellbeing Communications

Occupational Health guidance documents can be accessed from the toolkit and PSP.

Our in house charity The Rowland Hill Fund also provides support

www.rowlandhillfund.org helps colleagues at Royal Mail Group, pensioners and their immediate families with financial and practical support. You can also contact their confidential helpline via 0345 600 4586.

Resources from our charity partners

Mind Infoline

The Mind Infoline provides information and advice to those experiencing mental health problems, their friends, family and loved ones. Mind’s Infoline advisors will be able to direct you to support in your local area.

Contact the Infoline on Tel: 0300 123 3393 Email: info@mind.org.uk Text: 86463 Opening hours: 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)

Mind Website

You can also access further information including booklets on specific mental health problems, types of medication and treatment, legal rights and suicidal feelings on the information pages of Mind’s website https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/

Now close this window and return to SuccessFactors

Created By
James Barton

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.