In the week it all went weird, we especially need to take care of our mental health and look out for those around us - be that at home, in the work place or our local community. There is a wealth of information and ideas online for supporting good mental health in these challenging times. Regular communication with others is particularly important to reduce the impact of isolation. Around 450 million people currently suffer from mental health problems, with recent reports suggesting that over 12 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in just one year. It’s important that employers are transparent and open about mental health issues, and this qualification builds an understanding of mental health problems and the support available to colleagues. Increasing the understanding of mental health of staff at all levels builds a culture of care and support. If you are interested in learning more about how to promote good mental health, we are pleased to offer this great distance learning course on Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health Advocacy in the Workplace. Level 2 certificate in mental health first aid and mental health advocacy in the workplace  Course content includes: What is meant by mental health and mental ill healthFactors contributing to different types of mental ill health and actions to take when an individual is facing a mental health crisisThe importance of positive relationships and person-centred approachesHow to protect your own mental health when supporting othersThe impact of attitudes and perceptions of mental health for individuals and organisationsWellness action plans  Mandatory units Exploring mental healthSupporting individuals with mental ill healthUnderstanding a mentally healthy environment  Apply online here READ MORE INFORMATION ON OUR WEBSITE  Criteria Fully funded for eligible learners aged 19+Must be EU resident for min. of 3 yearsNo funding currently available in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, West Midlands or West of England (devolved skills budget areas)


As we all wake up to the reality that many of us will be confined to our homes for sometime, here at CQM Learning we have been thinking about what we can do to help ourselves and everyone else. Faced with days or weeks in isolation, there will be plenty of time for self-reflection.  Whilst we will continue to work (as much as we can normally), we are all using this time to work on ourselves too.  Unsurprisingly as training specialists, we're looking at the fully funded (i.e. free) courses that we can study from our desk, sofa or anywhere else.  These courses all result in an accredited Level 2 qualification on successful completion. If you are interested in one for yourself, please get in touch with our office on 0114 281 5761 or and we can get you started. Our Top Five Courses To GEt Ahead at work Lean Organisational ManagementDigital Promotion for BusinessesBusiness AdministrationTeam LeadingCustomer Service  Our Top Five Courses for health and well-being Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health Advocacy in the WorkplaceNutrition and HealthUnderstanding Children & Young People's Mental HealthManaging DiabetesCommon Childhood Illnesses   


1. Create A Sustainability PlanGoing green can be a huge undertaking for any organisation. There are many ways to go green but choosing what is right for your service and having a plan to make it happen is a good start. So before you get started it can be helpful to put a simple strategy in place to keep you on track with your targets and how to reach them. To begin with, focus on setting some clear goals, and realistic ways to achieve them. Then, evaluate the costs and benefits of each eco-friendly action too. Make sure to share your strategy with your workforce; and make sustainable actions simple and achievable, by supplying recycling bins for example. For that extra encouragement, consider implementing an incentive plan to help efforts progress, such as a cycle-to-work or office recycling scheme rewarded with treats or other incentives.  2. Switching OffEven simple changes such as making sure lights, computers and heating are switched off when they’re not being used can make a huge difference to your eco-footprint – and your bills too! Research by uSwitch found that UK households waste £227m a year by leaving appliances on standby. So think carefully about your energy outputs and turn things off at the switch, close doors and windows to retain heat, and turn the thermostat down if possible. Efforts to reduce energy consumption can also include installing timers on your heating, air conditioning or lighting systems so that they automatically turn off when not needed, and making sure that computers and monitors go into hibernate mode when not in use. For a little extra support, there are several smart energy apps that can help monitor your appliances, which are simple to use and can integrate your lighting, electricity and heat into one dashboard. And for further advice on how to reduce your energy usage, many energy audit companies can assess your business to make sure it’s running energy efficiently whilst marking areas where you can make savings too.  3. Sustainable Energy SourcesAs sustainable technology has developed, thousands of businesses have begun to take energy saving one step further by switching over to renewable sources of power such as solar, wind, tidal or biomass – which can be used to generate both heat and electricity and makes up a huge 85% of renewable energy in the UK! On a smaller scale, one of the simplest changes you can make to your energy consumption can be to switch over your lighting. Using energy efficient LED or CFL lights can cut costs by £80 and save 320kg of carbon dioxide over the lifetime of the bulb.  4. CONSUMABLESOne of the easiest way for company to know where its best opportunities for real eco-improvement is to look at spending habits.   Thinking about going green with the goods and services you use for your business, it can be beneficial to review your existing suppliers. Make sure to consider whether your suppliers work sustainably, their use of any substances that could be toxic to the environment, how necessary packaging is, if any element of the product can be reused or recycled, and if you could find any local alternatives to reduce on delivery emissions.  5. Reduce, Reuse, RecycleTo improve sustainability, you should aim to produce as least waste as possible. At first thought this may appear to be rather a costly project, organising waste pick up and spending more time on training employees; but the option of running your business without recycling can be even more costly in the long run, simply considering the wastage you will incur. If you speak to people who use your service, they may have some great ideas about how to reuse and recycle things. Older generations often took a more frugal approach and may come up with some great suggestions! There are dozens of small changes you can make to have a big impact when it comes to recycling, but to list just a few: Purchase recycled office supplies such as paper and ink cartridges; or compostable food containersUse rechargeable batteries instead of disposable onesHave recycling bins, including paper and glass, in your workspaceMake an effort to recycle or repair old appliances and computers instead of throwing them awayOffset recycling costs by selling your excess materials on to businesses who could use themBand together with other local businesses to form an efficient recycling process in your area  6. Green MarketingAs more people become concerned about the climate crisis, proving that your service is pushing towards more sustainable options will increasingly influence their decision to use your service themselves or for a loved one.Make sure you celebrate your efforts in any marketing and promotional activities for your service. 

Two people talking about stress


This month we’re talking about stress – which is coincidentally a great way to start coping it. There is no medical definition of stress, and health care professionals often disagree over whether stress is the cause of problems or the result of them. The Health & Safety Executive defines stress as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’. Whatever your personal definition of stress is, there are ways to identify and manage it – both in yourself and in those around you: By managing external pressures, so stressful situations don’t happen so often, and By developing emotional resilience, to better cope with challenging situations when they do happen  Stress in Health & Social Care Caring for others is rewarding but can be a cause of stress. What do you do when you feel the impact of the pressures of your role? How can you help tackle these for yourself and your co-workers? Talking is always a good place to start. The old saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ is often true, with the burden of a challenging situation or decision relieved by discussing it with co-workers, friends and family. and the perfect opportunity to talk freely about it and to share coping mechanisms.  How do you cope with Stress? Here at CQM Learning we regularly take our office dog to visit staff and residents at a local service. Studies show that playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of oxytocin (a stress-reducing hormone) and decrease production of cortisol (a stress hormone). Could you include animal therapy sessions into your day? You could ask friends and family of people who use your service to take pets to visit service users or get in touch with a service like .  Some other ways to tackle stress: You could: try some simple stress busting strategiesuse these easy time-management techniquesuse calming breathing exercisesmake sure you are getting enough sleep Other things that may help: share your problems with family or friendsmake more time for your interests and hobbiestake a break or holidaytake some regular exercise and make sure you are eating healthily Learn mindfulness, breathing and deep muscle relaxation techniques to reduce stress in our Stress Awareness distance learning course.  Stress busting strategies The keys to good stress management are building emotional strength, being in control of your situation, having a good social network and adopting a positive outlook.  Be activeTake controlConnect with peopleHave some 'me time'Challenge yourselfAvoid unhealthy habitsHelp other peopleTry to be positiveGive yourself a break Read about these strategies in details and learn specific ways to reduce stress in the workplace in our Stress Awareness course. Is stress affecting the people around you? Remember to look out for those around you. Are any of your co-workers, people who use your service, friends or family displaying these changes: Extroverts becoming withdrawnBecoming more accident proneBecoming short-temperedA dramatic change in weight Everyone has ‘bad’ days but if you notice the changes above for five or more days, they could be experiencing stress. What would you do if you identified stress in someone else? Does your workplace have policies in place? Are you comfortable with talking to people about it?   If you want to learn more about stress and other mental health problems such as depression, eating disorders and PTSD, apply for the Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Mental Health Problems. This distance learning course takes around 10 weeks to complete, resulting in a nationally recognised qualification. It is fully funded for eligible learners - download the Mental Health Problems training application form here.  ‚Äč


If the current situation is disrupting your workflow with staff self-isolating or production lines halted, there are ways to keep adding value to your manufacturing business. Workforce development increases the skills and knowledge that your team can apply to processes. These don't have to be huge interventions, every small improvement can drive positive change. Practical safety training is always a good idea, with health & safety or first aid training available at different levels depending on the responsibilities of each employee. ELearning is a great way to develop the knowledge needed before taking practical tests or assessments in the workplace. Lean Organisational Management at level 2 is a great course for introducing Kaizen and other theories. This distance learning course can be completed online and is fully funded for many people (please contact CQM Learning on 0114 281 5761 or to see if funding is available for your team).   Our top five short courses for manufacturing businesses Health & Safety - wide range of courses availableEmergency First Aid at Work eLearning - knowledge to prepare for test £15 per personLean Organisational Management - distance learning, fully funded for many peopleManual handling eLearning - from £10 per personStorage & Warehousing - eLearning knowledge for level 2 £80 per person