Cala Homes (North) mental health campaign leads to national award win

CALA Homes (North) has been named Employer of the Year for First Aid Excellence at the Scottish First Aid Awards.

The 11th annual event, organised by St Andrew’s First Aid, was held in Glasgow on March 29.

Cala Homes (North) was recognised for its exemplary commitment to investing in staff first aid and mental health awareness, which is highlighted through its Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) programme, which ensures that all site teams across the region are equipped with the skills to recognise and address mental health problems.

Collaborations with Scottish Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA) and Samaritans, their national charity partner, have further reinforced Cala Homes (North)’s commitment to fostering a supportive and open work environment.

Steve Jarvie at Cala Homes’ said, “We are honoured to receive this recognition from St Andrew’s First Aid. Our commitment to our employees’ well-being, evidenced through our partnerships and initiatives, is of great importance. This acknowledgment reaffirms our belief that investing in the physical and psychological health of our team members is not only a priority but a fundamental aspect of our company’s ethos”.

Cala Homes (North) has 36 MHFAs. Those on-site wear stickers on their hard hats to identify them and to communicate that they are willing to listen. In November, they introduced Cala Homes Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month and provided treat boxes complete with hot drinks and snacks to all sites, to encourage the team to sit down and communicate with their colleagues, with a particular focus on engaging in more difficult conversations such as mental health.

Stuart Callison, chief executive of St Andrew’s First Aid, added, “Cala Homes North’s proactive approach to mental health awareness sets a commendable standard in the industry, reflecting their commitment to creating safe and supportive workplaces.  Their work to encourage their male employees in particular to speak to each other, shows that they are helping to break down the remaining stigma related to poor mental health.

“Cala Homes North is a great example of how businesses can successfully operate with the health and wellbeing of their staff firmly at the heart of their operations.”

More than 350 people attended the St Andrew’s First Aid Scottish First Aid Awards which were held at Radisson Blu on Cambridge Street in Glasgow. The night was hosted by Go Radio’s Gina McKie and included entertainment from ITV’s ‘The Voice’ duo The Motown Brothers.