Security specialist GMS Group is offering its 500 security staff extra support to tackle the hidden challenges around mental health following the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week in the U.K, the week of May 10-16, 2021.

GMS aims to raise awareness to help prevent staff reaching crisis before they seek help with mental health challenges.

Working with West Bromwich-based charity Kaleidoscope Plus Group, one of the causes which GMS supports with fundraising, the company will be providing staff with tips and advice as well as giving colleagues information on the help available. The GMS head office staff have also planned a MHAW fundraising drive to raise funds for Kaleidoscope.

GMS recognizes that security staff mental health can be impacted by the scenarios where they operate: night shifts, pressured working situations, anti-social hours and extended periods of isolation. The management are helping staff overcome dated preconceptions of security employees projecting “invincible” images to access mental health support over stress, relationship issues, finance, family well-being or the impact of the pandemic.

For Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW), information will be placed around the sites where GMS staff operate. Supervisors will be invited to take part in workshops to help them manage staff and those who have “buddy” roles, where designated staff have been trained to offer help, will be checking in with colleagues to offer support on mental health.

GMS already offers a stress counselling service to employees and have trained mental health first aiders in the business. 

Neil Male, CEO of GMS Group and a passionate supporter of mental health prevention work, is a board trustee of Kaleidoscope Plus Group. He said the management of GMS recognized the need to help employees ask for help with mental health challenges.

“We do not want colleagues to reach a crisis point before the issues need resolving and want every member of staff to feel they can engage with the support which can help them, whatever they are facing. The annual Mental Health Awareness Week is a welcome opportunity to build upon the efforts we make throughout the year to support colleagues," he said.