A SCOTTISH recycling company is providing mental health support for its employees.

In what is recognised as an industry first, Binn Group has brought mental health care “in house” ensuring easy access to support and assistance for its 140-plus strong workforce.

The Perthshire-based company is working with mental health support charity Speak to address the wide-ranging issues which can impact on workers’ psychological well-being.

And after only seven months into the consultancy partnership, the company is already seeing a 4.5% decrease in absenteeism and an increase in productivity and general well-being.

Binn Group HR manager Danny McAtear explained the advantages of having mental health support on site.

“The waste management industry is regarded traditionally as a tough male dominated environment with workers hiding their stress and emotions rather than opening up and seeking help,” he said. “Knowing there is someone they can speak to in private on site – who will be understanding, supportive and non-judgemental – can make a huge difference for employees.”

In house one-to-one peer support is given by Speak founder Rosie McKearnon who battled for many years with her own mental health problems.

“I know how lonely and overwhelmed you can become when things get on top of you,” she said. “Mental health problems are not something you can shake off. Sadly, not everyone feels comfortable seeking help and even if they do, the waiting time to see a professional can be too long for those who are really struggling.

“The workers at Binn Group know I have been at rock bottom and they see that I came through it,” explained McKearnon. “This background and personal experience make it easier for people to approach and ask for help to deal with their issues.”

McAtear stressed that many people don’t want to raise their issues at home and worry family and loved ones. Therefore, an outlet at work where they will be listened to and supported is seen as a huge advantage.

“Sometimes they just need to unload and get things in perspective and they know Rosie understands the issues,” said McAtear.