Mental health is a subject which is finally receiving the attention it needs and deserves.
There’s perhaps not an immediate connection between mental well-being and hairdressing – but that’s something which George’s Hairdressing are certainly going to change!
As one of the biggest employers in Leicester, they are used to setting standards - and that’s just exactly what they have done by introducing a mental health first aider within their salons!
George’s Hairdressing has been inspiring the ladies and gents of Leicestershire for almost 40 years. It’s three salons located on Allandale Road, Granby Street and Oadby, offer a unique blend of artistic creativity, expertise and excellence within a friendly, yet intimate, atmosphere.
Employee training and development has always been a priority within George’s Hairdressing and looking after staff well-being is an important element within this. The introduction of a trained mental health first aider – in this case Managing Director, Katie Katon - is just another indication of how seriously this forward-thinking group take the subject and how committed they are in supporting their workforce.
Katie - Managing Director of George’s Hairdressing and sister salon London Road - attended a professional course for Mental Health First Aid. She obtained a deep understanding of the subject, learning what mental health is, what factors affect it, how to spot the signs and how best to step in to offer support.
Combining knowledge and learned practical skills Katie will now be the go-to person for anyone experiencing mental health issues. As well as being that important first port of call, she will then be able to help them seek relevant advice – be it self-help, workplace guidance, NHS support or a mix of all three.
With the Office of National Statistics telling us that 1 in 4 people will experience mental health issues every year and MHFA identifying that depression, stress and anxiety are the largest causes of sickness absence, the problem is a significant one. It’s a costly one too - MHFA believe that it costs UK businesses over £35 Billion each year!
Katie is already a recognised employee champion. Having been shortlisted for Employer of the Year on numerous occasions – most recently for Niche Magazine in 2019 – the George’s Hairdressing team know she has their best interests at heart. The Mental Health First Aider training has simply given her additional key skills: confidence to step in; understanding to reassure; interpersonal skills to listen in a non-judgemental way; and practical knowledge to access further help.
Katie told us: “It’s easy to think that everyone is happy in hairdressing. We work in a creative environment and, being customer facing, we are always seen smiling. I know this is sometimes just a façade hiding true feelings and that’s why I want staff to be confident to come to me for help if they are struggling”
To find out more information about George’s Hairdressing visit here.
To find out more information on sister salon London Rd visit here.