A major Cumbrian firm is preparing to hold a series of "mental wellbeing breakfasts" across its businesses.

H&H Group Plc, which has its headquarters in Carlisle, will hold the events throughout Thursday, which is World Mental Health Day.

The breakfasts will be held simultaneously across H&H Group’s offices in Durham, Carlisle, Cockermouth, Penrith, Grange, Kendal and Penrith.

Group chief executive Richard Rankin said: “On October 10 we will be joining together as a wider team to celebrate World Mental Health Day.

"I say celebrate, because it is imperative in this day and age that the subject is no longer taboo, and that we recognise the importance of mental health in our personal and work lives.

“I believe it is a very serious subject that we have a responsibility to tackle, and although we are taking this day to focus on the subject, we need to ensure that it remains at the forefront of our minds every day of the year and not just give the subject lip service on special dates.”

Six members of staff across the H&H Group of companies have been specially trained in mental health first aid on subjects such as how to recognise the signs that someone is struggling, how to support mental health at work and how to manage and reduce stress.

The company plans to expand this training so that every arm of the business has a nominated mental health first aider.

Richard said: “My hope is that we can remove the stigma associated with mental health and rather than seeing it as a weakness, see it as a strength when an employee admits that they need some support.

"We need to open up a discussion about it here at H&H Group and we don’t want anyone to feel that they must hide in shame from any of their struggles, big or small.

"Not only is it essential that H&H recognise and are open with our people about mental health and wellbeing, but it is the key reason behind choosing MIND as one of our charities of the year.”

Andy Jackson, who is managing director for H&H Reeds - the print arm of the Group - attended the mental health awareness training.

He said: “It was an excellent awareness-raising course with some very practical advice on how to normalise the subject within the workplace.

"I am proud that as a company we are prioritising mental health as much as physical health, with first aiders now in place for each.

“Since we have been running the breakfasts and similar initiatives, people are already more open and ready to talk, give help and support and awareness is continuing to grow. These are all positive steps for our business and the wider picture.”