Staff and volunteers at Edinburgh-based charity Thistle Foundation have received a mental health training boost thanks to a bespoke programme delivered by Edinburgh College through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund.
Thistle, which supports disabled people and those living with long-term health conditions or facing challenging life situations, tasked the College with designing a series of mental health workshops with the aim of improving colleagues’ understanding of the subject – benefiting them when working alongside the people they support.
Trainers from the College delivered four sessions over two days covering: Anxiety, Depression, Self-harm, and Suicide Awareness.
- Anxiety – delegates explored the definition of anxiety; learned its signs and symptoms; considered the wide range of anxiety disorders people can suffer; and learned about local resources to help people deal with anxiety.
- Depression – delegates learned the definition of depression; discussed the prevalence of the condition across Scotland; recognised the symptoms of depression; and discussed the range of treatments and support available to those suffering from depression.
- Self-harm – delegates discussed the myths around self-harm; considered the reasons why people self-harm; and explored ways to support someone who self-harms.
- Suicide awareness – delegates explored myths about suicide; practiced ways to ask someone if they are thinking about suicide; and learned where to seek help.
The Flexible Workplace Development Fund provides eligible employers with up to £15,000-worth of training from their local college to upskill and reskill their existing workforce. Thistle has taken full advantage of the opportunity and funding to enhance the practical and emotional expertise of its staff.
As well as taking part in mental health training workshops, staff at Thistle are also set to begin a series of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) training sessions, supporting those who do not speak English natively to brush up on their skills – benefiting them both in and out of the workplace.
Mark Hoolahan, CEO of Thistle Foundation said, “We’re delighted to have Edinburgh College deliver this important training here at Thistle through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund. The College have been a great training partner – both the mental health awareness and the ESOL training have really complemented the in-house training we offer our staff and having tutors that are able to come and deliver the training here at our Centre has been great.”
Edinburgh College head of commercial Jane Grant said: “We’re very proud to be working alongside the Thistle Foundation – an organisation that does massively important work supporting people across Edinburgh.
“It’s been great to see the organisation tap in to the Flexible Workforce Development Fund to access new ways to upskill its workforce, helping staff to develop in their jobs.
“We’re also delighted that Thistle has also signed up to receive ESOL training from our staff, emphasising the quality of training designed and delivered by our team.”