DORSET’S Hall & Woodhouse brewery is launching new initiatives to support its staff’s mental health.

The family-owned business is offering a stress and wellbeing survey and appointing mental health first aiders.

The survey takes the form of a confidential, online wellbeing tool designed to measure levels of pressure in all aspects of staff’s lives, including home and the workplace.

When staff have completed the survey, they will receive a personalised report highlighting which areas of their home or work life may be under pressure. The report also recommends support and resources.

The 242-year-old business employed 215 people at its Blandford brewery and 1,216 in its managed pubs across Dorset and the south, as of last year.

Hall & Woodhouse’s managing director, Matt Kearsey, said: “Mental health is a very real problem, with one in four people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem each year.

“At Hall & Woodhouse we are committed to providing mental health support to all team members and creating an environment where people feel they can talk about their mental health. Especially as we head towards the Christmas season, when so often the pressures we face are magnified and it is the busiest time of year for people working in hospitality.”

Once all of the findings have been collated, Hall & Woodhouse will produce a wellbeing calendar of events for the next year that will be tailored to help reduce the pressures faced by staff.

The business has invested in mental health training, with 15 mental health first aiders completing accredited training with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England.

Mr Kearsey added: “Our mental health first aiders are the first point of contact for any team member who maybe is experiencing a mental health problem, or if they are concerned for a colleague’s wellbeing.

“They are there to listen and to help refer team members to relevant support when they need it.”

Hall & Woodhouse also provides a 24/7 telephone support line service where staff can seek counselling and help with legal, health and wellbeing issues.

The Woodhouse Trust, a charity set up 20 years ago, helps current and former team members who are suffering real financial hardship.

The business also works with the Licensed Trade Charity, which provides free services and financial assistance for workers in the brewery and pub industry.