Following a successful trial, NEC Group Arenas (Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena) have committed to rolling out Mental Health First Aid support across a number of their shows.
The Mental Health First Aiders, who are both employees of NEC Group and CBRE, are there to provide practical mental health reassurance and support on show nights for both audiences and fellow employees. Their help can range from providing a non-judgemental listening ear, to offering a space to relax or signposting to further support.
So far, support has been offered at Ariana Grande at Arena Birmingham and Little Mix at Resorts World Arena, receiving a wealth of glowing customer feedback. The NEC Group currently has 20 employees trained as MHFAs, with plans to roll out the initiative further across a number of upcoming shows.
One customer who used the mental health service at Ariana Grande said: “We came to the Ariana concert last night, our first concert since the Manchester attack and just wanted to thank everyone involved for making the experience so positive and restoring our children’s happy memories! It wasn’t without a few panic attacks and tears, but the mental health support in place was brilliant. This visit was made so much easier by the reassurance of visible security, police presence and the mental health support on offer.”
Ellie Coombes, senior event manager at Arena Birmingham, said: “Mental wellbeing is hugely important to us at the NEC Group. Over recent months we’ve put a real emphasis on making sure our employees’ mental health is looked after – and it’s just as important that we look after those visiting our venues.
We always hope everyone has a great time with us, but by partnering with CBRE, we’re there on hand to help if anyone needs it. We want our visitors to come and talk to us about their mental health and know that if they’re struggling, they don’t have to do it alone.”