Social Enterprise Spotlight – MHScot Consultancy & Training
In our latest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Catherine Eadie and MHScot Consultancy & Training CIC – an Edinburgh-based training & consultancy Social Enterprise that understands the needs and aspirations of workplace environments in a very person-centered way. Get in touch with Catherine on 0131 618 8244 / firstname.lastname@example.org and check out www.mhscot-consultancy.co.uk. Connect with them on Twitter too.
Every few weeks we focus on a randomly selected social enterprise member for intense marketing support and promotion. MHScot Consultancy & Training CIC will feature in all e-bulletins, on our website homepage and on all our social media, alongside other support, reaching thousands of people across Scotland and beyond.
What’s your social and/or environmental mission? Our mission as Scotland’s first Social Enterprise tackling stress prevention and early intervention in the workplace is to help individuals and businesses face the problems created by mental health issues ‘head on’ and attempt to change the way these issues in the workplace are perceived, understood and dealt with.
How do you do it? MHScot works with HR Departments, occupational health and interested individuals. We also partner up with other individuals who want to help us achieve our aims and share skills and knowledge, which is important when understanding such a varied workplace environment. We mostly work in-house, delivering tailored/bespoke learning programmes and providing consultancy services, looking at policies, staff handbooks, legal obligations, stress audits, surveys, reviews etc.
What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur? Knowing the struggle of seeking employment after having lived experience of poor mental wellbeing and then hearing so many other employee’s stories about their struggles in the workplace I knew there was a huge problem that needed addressed. Our working age population is on the increase and we owe it to everyone to make sure that the mental health of employers and employees alike is looked after and aligned with physical health and wellbeing, myself included of course.
What are your current projects? We’re currently doing quite a lot of work with the University of Edinburgh at the moment delivering a number of bespoke courses and learning programmes. These are aimed at managers supporting staff, colleagues who support each other and student support officers who support students, but who also need to be aware of looking after themselves in the process. We’re also continuing to develop our business plan, create a director’s pack and work on policies and procedures.
What exciting things do you have coming up? There’s such a lot we want to do, but we have to be aware of our limitations and try not to rush things. So some of these may take longer to develop than others, but we’re looking at collaborating to develop some blended/e-learning programmes. These will either be standalone and/or part of our face-to-face courses. We’ll continue to develop resources which will form part of our membership package that we’re creating. We’d also like to look at creating a steering group of like-minded people similar to the City Mental Health Alliance in London. Anyone reading this who is interested, please do get in touch.
Who do you want to work with more? Tying in with the last question, we’d really like to understand the workplace environment in Edinburgh & The Lothian’s specifically as this is where we are focusing most of our work. So we’re hoping to do some research in workplaces that will allow us to find out what people are looking for at the very early stage of when someone’s mental health is beginning to deteriorate. We’d like to find out what works and what doesn’t so that we can develop our services accordingly.
What’s your biggest challenge? At the moment it’s time! We’ve got so many ideas and thoughts flying around that it’s hard to know what to prioritise. It can also be quite difficult developing a new social enterprise while delivering services at the same time in order to make a living. I’m glad I did a lot of the preparation before leaving my job.
What top tip would you give to other social enterprises? Do some research on organisations, networks and individuals in your area that can support you and pass on knowledge, skills and contacts. We’ve met some amazing, helpful and obliging people and without them we don’t think we’d have got this far.