The NEC Group has committed to providing mental health first-aid support at its Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena venues.
The announcement comes following a successful trial and the support will now be rolled out at a number of upcoming shows at the arenas.
The first aiders will seek to provide mental health reassurance and support for audiences and fellow employees, with help to include offering a space to relax or a “non-judgmental listening ear”. The first aiders are employees of both NEC Group and CBRE, which provides facility management services at the group’s arenas.
The support was offered at the recent Ariana Grande gig at Arena Birmingham, and at Little Mix’s Resorts World Arena show. NEC Group, which currently has 20 employees trained as mental health first aiders, cited “glowing” customer feedback from the trial.
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.”
One customer who used the service at the Ariana Grande gig added: “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.”
Image: NEC Group