MindWise is a leading mental health charity in Northern Ireland. They deliver a range of services to support over 1,000 people every day who are at risk of, or affected by mental health issues.
The charity is backed by around 300 members and consists of 100 professional staff with 80+ volunteers. Their mission is to transform lives and develop new visions for mental health. They challenge mental health stigma and discrimination and provide quality services and support.
Staff and volunteers of the charity regularly work with service users who experience mentally ill health. The role can involve sessions of lone working. Therefore, it is particularly important that protection is in place to keep workers safe.
In the event of a threatening situation occurring, staff need to be able to raise the alarm quickly and discreetly.
What’s more, if a session with a service user inexplicably overran, and a staff member or volunteer is unaccounted for, the previous process required senior managers to take responsibility in ascertaining their safety. The time taken to respond to a problem could be critical. A new solution was required to reduce response times. That’s where Peoplesafe stepped in.
To safeguard their staff, MindWise chose the MicroGuard personal safety alarm from Peoplesafe. This provided them with peace of mind that their lone workers had the means to call for help.
The MicroGuard is a small, discrete device that allows users to raise an alarm at the press of a button. This is backed up by an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s staffed by a specially trained team who are experienced in dealing with emergency situations.
Triggering an alarm opens up two-way audio communications via the device. This allows a trained Alarm Controller to listen in, communicate if appropriate and implement the correct course of action.
As the MicroGuard is certified to the highest industry standards, including BS 8484:2022 and Secured by Design, this allows Alarm Controllers to potentially bypass the 999 system and summon the highest level of police response directly via police control rooms. There are many benefits to this, not least cutting response times – critical in a life-threatening scenario.
The MicroGuard features a voice memo function, useful for home visits. A message can be left with additional information about where they are and who they are with, so this can provide extra guidance if an alarm is raised.
Users can also be set up with individual profiles that contain details including a point of contact, for example a manager, that can be used in escalation if an alarm has been triggered and a user cannot be tracked down.
Using the MicroGuard has helped ensure that the staff and volunteers at MindWise feel safe and secure. Therefore, they can concentrate on providing vital support to those in need without worry.
Encouraging staff to use the device was also made easier by the support received, as Eileen says “the supporting documents have been invaluable when I have been promoting Peoplesafe usage to all relevant staff.”
Overall MindWise would recommend Peoplesafe and continue to place their trust in us to keep their workers safe.