Gütersloh, 11/30/2023

Digital Exchange Of Experiences On ‘Mental First Aid’

Subject: Society
Country: Germany
Category: Project

Health officers from 12 Bertelsmann companies got together for a digital exchange of experiences on “Mental First Aid” following the invitation of Bertelsmann BKK. The event aimed to discuss various “Mental First Aid” measures, including openly dealing with mental health. Since 2021, more than 250 individuals have been trained in this field in participating companies.

Under the motto “Ne(x)tworking – Mental First Aid”, Bertelsmann BKK invited health officers from 12 Bertelsmann companies across Germany to a digital exchange of experiences for the first time in mid-November. The event aimed to discuss various “Mental First Aid” measures and their effectiveness in the companies, and to learn from each other. Judith Finke, Team Lead Health Management at Bertelsmann BKK, explained the new exchange format: “We advise and accompany the Bertelsmann companies with the initiation of their Mental First Aiders.” Mental health is an important factor for companies. “Together, we can achieve more for the employees,” she emphasized.

With the training of Mental First Aiders, Bertelsmann and Bertelsmann BKK advocate an open dealing with mental health in the working world. The goal is to free the topic from taboos, sensitize, and support colleagues in the case of mental stress. “With the trained Mental First Aiders, we establish trustful contact points at eye-level, distributed to diverse departments and independent from the conversation offers with colleagues from HR, the works council, or the supervisor,” said Beatrice Güth, Manager Human Resources at BMG.

More than 250 individuals trained since 2021

The training, which is adjusted to the requirements of various target groups, comprises basic knowledge about mental illnesses as well as practical conversation methods. Since 2021, more than 250 individuals have been trained in this field, according to the organizers. “Mental First Aid” is not about diagnosing or treating illnesses but about providing easily accessible support and, when needed, setting the course towards professional contact points such as company social counseling. “There was very positive feedback from our managers about the content and procedure of the training. We are especially pleased that the learned knowledge helps in daily work routine and provides additional security in dealing with employees’ acute crisis situations,” explained Nicole Weschler, HR Officer at Vogel Druck.

The exchange, which was embedded in Bertelsmann’s international “Mental Health Initiative”, paves the way to a sustained anchoring of “Mental First Aid” in the Group. Anna Böhmer, Manager Health & Well-Being, Corporate Responsibility, at Bertelsmann, is also pleased with the event: “The commitment of the Mental First Aiders is simply great. They make an active contribution to strengthening the awareness for mental health at Bertelsmann. It fits perfectly with this year’s Group-wide ‘Mental Health in Focus’ initiative.”