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Stourbridge funeral director raises awareness of mental health

A Stourbridge funeral directors is highlighting the importance of personal wellbeing after providing specialist mental health training to its staff.

South Road-based H Porter and Sons has put two of its team through a full-day Mental Health First Aid training course by MHFA England at St John Ambulance in Birmingham and 13 more employees have taken part in a mental health awareness course run by the Association for Psychological Therapies.

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The courses will help staff at the 175 year old funeral directing business to recognise the main signs and symptoms of mental ill health, provide initial help, create a healthier workforce and be mindful of their own wellbeing.

According to mental health charity Mind, one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year and one in six report a common problem such as anxiety or depression in any given week.

H Porter and Sons’ managing director Lucy Porter said the courses had been of huge benefit to the business. “Funeral directing can be an incredibly stressful line of work, as employees experience sights many people might find uncomfortable and provide care and support to families who are grieving regardless of how they themselves are feeling.

“I’m very mindful of these pressures and wanted to ensure that the team at H Porter and Sons feel cared for and are aware of how to spot wellbeing problems in themselves or colleagues so that no one is left to face issues alone.”

Colleague Beverly Coxhill, who is now one of H Porter and Sons’ Mental Health First Aid Champions, added that the training had been a revelation. She said: “The training really brought home to me how prevalent mental health issues are and, importantly, how to help someone in need of support to seek the right kind of help. This is proving very useful to us as a team and gives us another set of skills with which to enhance the care we provide to people at life’s most difficult time.”

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