Mental Health Awareness

Step Change in Safety is committed to raising and promoting awareness of mental health among the onshore and offshore workforce.

Maintaining good mental health is crucial for everyone as it can help individuals to achieve their full potential. Mental health and wellbeing continues to be a priority area for the oil and gas industry.

A wide range of factors can result in a period of poor mental health. Being able to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide the opportunity for those affected to talk openly about them is crucial in supporting positive wellbeing.

Step Change in Safety is working with the industry to identify mental health needs and take the appropriate steps to address them. For information on Mental Health First Aid Training courses visit our events page.


Step Change in Safety has launched a series of five films in which individuals associated with the energy industry spoke openly and powerfully about their mental health challenges. These short videos cover a variety of topics including depression, anxiety, bereavement and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and are designed to used in conjunction with one another.

These personal experiences highlight signs and symptoms that many people will be able to recognise to a degree. They also illustrate some real-life examples of what can trigger a change in mental health and move someone along the continuum.

To accompany the five films is a simple guidance document that provides the basics of mental health awareness in an attempt to reduce stigma, initiate conversations and direct individuals to additional sources of support.

If you require immediate support with your mental health, please talk to someone or contact:



Gina's Story

Kevin's Story

Mike's Story

Shaun's Story

Steve's Story

Recognising the effects of poor mental health

Carolyn Taylor, Head of Mental Health, Resilience and Wellbeing at International SOS:

Never has it been more important to recognise the effects of poor mental and physical health in ourselves and our colleagues, than now. As we move into a different phase with the pandemic, there is huge uncertainty and anxiety for many people. It is so important to understand the constantly evolving work and home life situation. This last year has caused an increase in anxiety, depression, loss and heartache for so many people. People are feeling disconnected, lacking in confidence and worried about what the future holds. The very thought of returning to the workplace, for many, is causing unexpected heightened emotions and this, in turn, is leaving people struggling to understand how to cope.”

New bespoke online course for energy workers

The global pandemic has thrown us all off track with work, home and family; and the need to maintain good mental health has never been so important.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has led to an increased call for mental health training. At Step Change in Safety our series of classroom-based Mental Health Awareness Training has had to be postponed and we have been looking for a suitable solution to deliver similar training remotely.

We are now pleased to offer an accredited (FAA) remote learning Level 1 Awareness of First Aid for Mental Health for Energy Workers. Our exclusive training course is conducted by, and in association with Brett Townsley, the award-winning Innovations Director at Omniscient Safety.

Being able to spot the signs and symptoms associated with deteriorating mental health, and having the knowledge and confidence to provide the opportunity for those affected to talk openly about their feelings, is crucial in supporting positive mental health and, consequently, safety.

This bespoke course has been specifically adapted to retain the complete syllabus of mental health first aid training but with the added advantage of being industry-specific for the energy worker, and includes discussion, case studies and energy-industry specific data.

Each training course consists of two, one-hour Zoom sessions (ie. both dates) supporting materials, handbook and a one-to-one knowledge-check session.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube to stay informed of future events and webinars.

Visit our events page to find out more information about the 2021 course dates.

Available support

Organisations offering advice and support include:



Citizens Advice:

Brett 1

About Brett Townsley

Brett Townsley served in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm on HMS Kent, Naval Strike Wing & Afghanistan before transitioning to civilian life and into a career in HSE in the Oil and Gas industry. Brett is a multi-award winning professional and managed health & Safety on multi-million-pound projects before forming Omniscient Safety Innovations – providing preventative mental health solutions, which is developing disruptive workplace technology to launch in 2021 after support from Scottish Enterprise & Academic partners. OSi are Oil & Gas UK SME innovation Award & Audience Award 2020 winners, along with finalists in the Scottish Veteran Awards as Business of the Year. Brett himself is a recipient of a BCAc from the House of Lords and a Charity board member.

Training course testimonials

------ What our course participants say ------

What will you do differently now that you've sat this course?

"Be more aware and assist the company in applying the knowledge."

"Different approach to dealing with mental health issues in co-workers."

"Treat MH issues like any other illness."

"Greater understanding of the conditions, how to recognise and what actions to take when a person appears to be experiencing problems."

"Talk more confidently with people who may have mental health issues."


Read our feature in energy publication, Energy Voice, on the topic of mental health awareness.

➡️ Energy Voice Mental health feature August 2020

EV mental healt August 2021

"Time out for Safety" Session 2: Mental Health and Wellbeing

The second in a series of industry panel sessions organised and facilitated by Step Change in Safety.

Session 2: Mental Health and Wellbeing

Panellists (L-R):

Louise Jenkins-Lang MCIPD, PGDip HRM, Director Lindsay & Lang

Rev Gordon Craig UK Oil & Gas Chaplain

Carolyn Taylor Mental Health & Wellbeing, Post Trauma Specialist, Offshore Resilience Ltd

Alison Porter HR Director, Bilfinger Salamis UK

Chaired by Steve Rae, Executive Director, Step Change in Safety.

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In Memory Of Jim Trodden - 1954 - 2022

We received the sad news that Jim Trodden, the unmistakably recognisable voice of Step Change in Safety, passed away on the 11th of November.

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