Staff at SSEN’s Perth depot have mental health at the front of their thoughts

Following on from the success of their football fundraiser which netted over £400 for the Scottish Association for Mental Health and the Samaritans, a 5k fun run organised by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ (SSEN) South Caledonia region has run up a total of £700 for Penumbra, the charity which offers mental health and wellbeing support across the country.

Mental health is a subject which is vital to every individual’s overall wellbeing, and a team of employees based in SSEN’s Inveralmond depot is keen to ensure that this is a topic which nobody should ever feel embarrassed or ashamed to talk about.

On World Suicide Prevention Day, organisations and communities around the world come together to raise awareness of suicide prevention. One in six people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem like depression or anxiety. On average, around 16 people end their lives every day, that’s approximately one person every two hours.

In addition to South Caledonia’s Health and Wellbeing Group, SSEN has a network of Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems or crises. MHFAs are equipped with the knowledge to direct colleagues living with mental health problems to sources of professional support, helping to remove stigma and fear and to give confidence in approaching a person in distress.

As well as having a wall in the staff canteen dedicated to mental health facts, figures and contact information on support organisations, the teams based there have been building links with local groups whose focus is on helping people struggling mentally, no matter how small the problem may seem to everyone else.

Earlier this year the Perth depot took on their colleagues at SSEN’s Dundee depot in a charity football fundraiser, with £400 being split between the Scottish Association for Mental Health and the Samaritans.

More recently, a team of Perth colleagues swapped their overalls, harnesses and hard hats for Lycra and sweatbands as they were joined by friends and family to race around the Inveralmond Industrial Estate on a 5k fun run, raising £700 for Penumbra. 

Paul Campbell, who is part of the Perth team involved in organising and co-ordinating the mental health activities across the region, said:

“Just as we need to eat sensibly and exercise regularly to keep our physical selves in good shape, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that our emotional and mental wellbeing is just as important.

“Here at South Caledonia we are committed to doing everything we can to make sure that every single one of our colleagues knows that we have team of mental health first aiders who are there to help, whether it’s just a quiet cuppa and a chance to talk, to something more serious that needs expert support.

“These recent fundraising events are not only about generating some much-needed cash for the charities, but we hope that they will also raise awareness of the groups themselves, and so if someone needs extra help at a difficult time, they’ll know that help is out there.”

The above photo shows the SSEN colleagues, friends and family members after the recent 5k run. 

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Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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