An award-winning accountancy and business advisory firm has pledged to support the mental health of its staff, clients and community with a range of training events.

Anderson Barrowcliff, which is based in Stockton, has provided training workshops for all staff, which will be extended outside the organisation in coming months.

Associate Luke Hopkins is one of those involved in co-ordinating the training.

He said: “As a people-focused firm, the wellbeing, including the mental health, of all staff and partners is of the utmost importance.

“It is becoming more and more apparent that people are suffering in silence with mental health issues, due to the increasing pressures of the modern world.

“Mental illness is often preventable and treatable and so we want to work with all our staff to make sure they can spot any issues – and know where to go to get help.”

The firm has enlisted the help of mental health advocate and trainer Tabby Kerwin to deliver the training.

She said: “One in four people will experience a mental health issue at any one time, so it’s something all employers need to be aware of.

“I started working with Anderson Barrowcliff on wellbeing and mental health awareness in 2020, as the partners recognised the importance of supporting and prioritising such matters in the workplace.

“To date, all partners have taken part in a mental health awareness workshop and we have rolled out three further training sessions for employees with almost half the company’s employees attending so far.”

Luke added: “This isn’t a one-off; we’ll be continuing to host events raising awareness amongst our own staff with annual refreshers, as well as rolling this out to business partners and clients.

“The partner and client events will take the form of networking opportunities, as well as including short and informative presentations on mental health, while the in-house events will be targeted at how to deal with the pressures of work as well as wider ranging mental health issues.

“As well as these workshops, we have a staff breakout area with table tennis, pool, computer games and suchlike, which we encourage all staff to utilise to take a break away from their desks during the working day.”

Anderson Barrowcliff managing partner Jerome Bury said: “The mental health and wellbeing of our staff is something we take very seriously at Anderson Barrowcliff.

“The pressures of modern life were hard enough but the pandemic has certainly exacerbated the issue, particularly with isolation issues caused by lockdowns and long-term working from home arrangements.

“We want to ensure that all of our staff are able to seek help if and when needed, but also spot the signs if any of their colleagues, friends or family are struggling.”

To find out more about Anderson Barrowcliff and its services, visit www.anderson-barrowcliff.co.uk