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“Mental health for everyone, everywhere” – Acino META includes mental health awareness in its broader wellness strategy

Monday 13th December 2021

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According to The Lighthouse Center for Wellbeing, “Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) equips individuals and organisations with the skills to identify and assist someone who is developing a mental health challenge or is experiencing a mental health crisis such as panic attacks, bouts of depression, difficulties with expatriate adjustment or the after-effects of trauma or bereavement.

“Just as with physical first aid, in all situations the goal is to provide support until appropriate professional help arrives.”

The regional team of Acino META, which stands for Middle East, Turkey and Africa, has included mental health awareness in its broader wellness strategy and recently launched two new initiatives in cooperation with The Lighthouse Center for Wellbeing: Mental Health Advocacy Training for Leaders and Mental Health First Aid Certification.

The central aim is to improve the Mental Health Literacy (MHL) of Acino employees. MHL is the ability to be sensitively aware and respond with skill to people experiencing mental and emotional challenges, and facilitate appropriate action.

Mental Health Advocacy Training for Leaders

Acino META regional leaders took a four-hour course specifically designed to equip them with the knowledge to address mental health in an effective and organic way. Leading from the top down to educate on the importance of mental health for Acino employees and enhance the employee experience.

Dr. Andrew Bird, Regional Director Acino META and his entire leadership team completed the training.

Mental Health First Aid Certification

The Acino META team continued with a two-day course designed to equip individuals with the skills to identify and assist someone who is developing a mental health challenge or is experiencing a mental health crisis and act as a first responder.

The Acino META regional leaders developed capable in-house resources to assist any employee experiencing a mental health crisis, including such issues as anxiety, panic attacks, bouts of depression, difficulties with expatriate adjustment or the after effects of trauma or bereavement specific to Acino’s industry and organisation, and ultimately raising the MHQ (Mental Health Quotient) of the company.

Every member of the Acino META HR team and representative managers covering each cluster and country in the region completed the certification; providing an average ratio of 1 Mental Health First Aid Officer per 20 employees across the organisation.

Why Mental Health Literacy

This will enable early intervention for employees experiencing a mental health crisis and facilitate growth in the overall wellness culture across the Acino META region. We will be able to offer existing employees support that will provide a foundation for greater productivity, engagement and motivation, and help them achieve a better work-life balance.

The Acino META leadership team responded very positively to the training and agreed to continue our efforts and multiply them throughout the region with the aim to make mental health awareness a part of our everyday language and how we operate as part of the larger Acino community.

“Mental health awareness is essential for a great workplace. Investing in it enables us to develop our emotional intelligence, enhance our people-centric culture and provide a supportive work environment. We will continue to work on raising our mental health awareness by placing it at the heart of our employee experience” – Andrew Bird, Regional Director Acino Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

Beyond the aim to improve the mental health literacy of Acino’s HR Team and leadership across the META region, it is about the wellbeing of the community as a whole.