Simon Acres Group Ltd, previously known as Acres Consultancy, marked their move to a new office with a forum on the issue of wellness in the workplace. The forum, which was attended by invited KBB retailers, suppliers and trade associations, was held in order to raise awareness of mental health issues in the kbb industry.

In the forum, guest speakers Suzanne Skeete, managing director of TT Training Academy and James Hitchen from Stress Matters, presented some startling statistics about how many people are affected by mental health issues and the impact this can have on business. Skeete has worked with construction and specialist trade businesses, and she estimates that in this industry alone, two people a day take their own lives.

Simon Acres, principal director of Simon Acres Group said: “This is such a taboo topic, especially in our male dominated industry, we wanted to raise awareness and encourage companies to consider what they can do to support those that are dealing with depression, anxiety, or even contemplating suicide.

“There was so much support from our guests, we hope that we have begun an industry wide conversation, one that will start to make a difference and will ultimately lead to saving lives.”

Tom Reynolds, CEO at the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) was present, and he said: “I fully support the idea that we have to foster more openness about mental health in the workplace. We all need to look at our organisations and see if we can introduce measures that will support employees.”

Trevor Scott from Rugby Fitted Kitchens also added: “The statistics are shocking, especially when we all have the ability to make changes. Everyone can make a difference and I welcome the opportunity to raise awareness and contribute to creating a business culture where help-seeking is supported.”

Guests heard how employees can train a nominated member of staff to become a First Aid Mental Health Champion in the workplace. Training is available and can provide valuable support to those in crisis or requiring assistance. Call Simon Acres Group on 0203 701 6660 for details.

If you are feeling stressed, depressed, anxious or suicidal, please use one of these links to talk to someone.

Samaritans – or 116123.

Stress Matters –