Corserv is a diverse group of Cornwall Council-owned businesses, providing infrastructure, engineering, housing, jobs, social care, facilities management, transport and other essential services to Cornwall and beyond. Our companies are Cormac, Cornwall Airport Newquay, Cornwall Housing, Corserv Care and Corserv Facilities. These are all brought together under the Corserv banner, where Corserv itself provides shared functions such as human resources, legal and finance. The group operates with Cornwall Council as their major shareholder.
Each and every one of our teams help to improve the lives of Cornish residents and visitors, whether that’s by providing care, helping make our roads safer, ensuring people have a roof over their heads or creating jobs in the county. Improving Cornish lives shapes our work ethic and our working practices. It is the reason that we exist and how we ultimately measure our success. Our mission is “Working together to improve the lives of people in Cornwall”
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
Corserv has a Health and Wellbeing group bringing together individuals who identify and support opportunities to improve staff wellbeing. Our sustainability strategy has a focus of social sustainability which is a focus on our people. This includes: Health, Happiness and Quality of Life – we will understand, promote and support the mental health and overall health and wellbeing of our employees through education, improving places by enhancing nature and having a healthy workplace.
The steps we take to prevent suicide are to continually raise awareness and provide access to a range of training and support.
We have a number of volunteers, ambassadors and advocates who support health and wellbeing across the Group. Their role is to champion Mental Health, Health and Wellbeing and Safeguarding initiatives, which incorporates suicide prevention. They receive specialist training to obtain a greater awareness of mental health and maintaining wellbeing, as well as ways to support others who may be experiencing mental health issues. These include: 90 Safeguarding Advocates, 105 Mental Health First Aiders and 31 Health and Wellbeing Champions. We have 2 employees that are Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England instructor members who deliver mental health first aid within the workplace, to not only support those we work with but also the communities we live in.
In addition we access Cornwall Council’s Health Promotion Service who deliver a range of training related to mental health. Courses include: Mental Health First Aid, Mental Health awareness, Suicide First Aid (SFA) and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).
Our employee assistance programme (EAP) provides a confidential 24/7 counselling and advice line, as well as an online portal including interactive wellbeing and advice and online tools and videos on a range of topics.
Within the Council we support the ‘Towards Zero ‘Suicide campaign which is a way of bringing together and engaging with our community to help to prevent suicide.
What are your current priorities?
– Reducing the stigma associated with mental health and suicide
– Further developing our Mental Health programme and increasing the number of advocates and mental health first aiders
– Continuing to provide information, signposting and resources for people, their families and wider community
What challenges are you currently facing?
We are a diverse group, employing approximately 2,300 people, many of whom work in an industry or in our communities providing a specific service where they or the service user may be at higher risk of suicide. Therefore our challenge is to ensure we can continue to develop and provide the support and training in mental health and suicide prevention, so that people can access help and support.