Since signing the Time to Change pledge just ten months ago, housing association, Aster Group, has made huge steps to alter the way it’s workplace thinks and acts about mental health.

Part of that commitment has seen it nearly double its target of training 100 colleagues to become mental health first aiders. 150 colleagues have been trained across the business in mental health first aid to help them better support each other and their customers.

It’s approach to mental health and wellbeing has also seen Aster employee a full time mental health partner and encourage its employees to raise money for mental health charities, with all monies match-funded. Over the last ten months the organisation has raised just under £2,000 for MIND by taking part in events like RED January, the Driving Challenge, and office bake sales.

Bjorn Howard, Group chief executive at Aster Group said: “Mental health remains one of the last taboos in this country – particularly in the workplace. Yet it is fundamentally important that we have systems in place and offer help to people facing mental health issues.

“We want to help break down some of the barriers and prejudices of mental health. We believe it’s very important that we talk openly and honestly about mental health related issues and that we are there for colleagues and customers.”

Aster’s commitment was recently recognised by the UK & European Employment Engagement Awards as the housing association was announced as a finalist in the Employee Wellbeing category, alongside the likes of Visa, RBS and the NHS. Aster will find out at the results at the awards ceremony on 24 January.

Aster’s plans for the future include training even more mental health first aiders, educating and supporting menopause in the workplace, helping reduce the stigma by sharing personal stories, and continuing to offer match funding and volunteering days so its colleagues can give back to mental health charities of their choice.  

For more information about the housing association please visit www.aster.co.uk.