Aesica Pharmaceuticals (Aesica), a Consort Medical company, is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturers, supplying products to many of the world’s top twenty pharmaceutical companies and exports to more than 30 countries.

At Aesica Queenborough, mental health is considered just as important as physical health, if not more so. The company have around 400 employees at the site, where they develop and manufacture finished dosed pharmaceutical lines. It is a high pressured and physically demanding environment, meaning it was important for the organisation to address mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

The Challenge

Across the organisation, Aesica noticed a rise in employees suffering with mental health issues such as stress and anxiety in comparison to those suffering with physical illnesses. Many of their employees work shift patterns and the nature of the work can be in high pressure, demanding environments. The organisation also has a high percentage of male workers and according to mental health studies, men are less likely to disclose their mental health issues or seek support from others.

After consulting on the best approach for the company to tackle mental ill health, Aesica sought support from Cantium Business Solutions (Cantium), a mental health first aid provider who could create a training schedule tailored to their needs; offering flexibility on dates, location and attendee numbers.

Aesica approached Cantium as their chosen provider to deliver Mental Health First Aid Training to managers, team leaders and colleagues due to Cantium’s bespoke training solutions. The training course was identified as a way to ensure they have first aid provisions for mental health and to provide staff with the skills needed to deal with mental health issues that can occur in the workplace.


The Result

Cantium work with Mental Health First Aid England to provide comprehensive training on how to support mental health in the workplace and following discussions with Aesica, two of Cantium’s Mental Health First Aid England certified trainers attended their Queenborough site to deliver a two-day training course to employees.

Aesica wanted to focus on building mental health conversation skills amongst its leaders and increase their confidence to help team members if they were struggling. The staff who attended the training now have the skills and knowledge to support colleagues in the right way and signpost team members to the help available to them.

Culturally, the confidence to spot signs of mental ill health and give appropriate advice is increasing, while stigma around the subject is gradually falling away.

With its impressive results and innovative approach, Aesica is leading the way in the sector when it comes to dealing with mental health as an important workplace issue. Embedding Mental Health First Aiders into the organisation has provided their employees with the confidence to come forward and seek support at their time of need.

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