REGIONAL law firm Paris Smith LLP, recruited military veterans with experience of active service in war zones to help staff develop their mental resilience.

The firm, which has offices in Southampton and Winchester, has launched a new mental resilience and health programme.

The firm has enlisted the services of the Eleos Partnership, a team of three military veterans, Tim Boughton, Olly Church and Tim Rushmere, who draw on their experiences in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Each has overcome life changing mental and physical scars of battle.

Paris's managing partner, Peter Taylor, has pioneered the initiative along with Paula Al- Yousif, the firm's director of human resources.

Peter said: “National research reveals that nearly half of people living with a mental health issue hide it from their colleagues/employer. Statistics also show that over half the workplaces in the country have no mental health support even though workplace stress accounts for a significant proportion of sickness days.”

He added: “I subscribe to the philosophy that a trouble shared is a trouble halved. I want all our staff to feel able to be themselves and authentic. It is important to me that they have the confidence to approach a trained mental health first aider in the office if the need arises without fear.

" I want them to know how to manage any stressful situations, and to strengthen their resilience and wellbeing. Being able to recognise the signs in colleagues and knowing how to offer support is part and parcel of an effective team.”

A Commando Pilot for 19 years, Tim Boughton, said at the launch: “It’s vital to remember that no one is invincible. We train our bodies to be fit but do we train our minds to be fit too? We need to apply the same approach to both.

"We’re aware people can be resilient in appearance but there will be stress under the surface."

Paris Smith has three accredited mental health first aiders in place an employee assistance programme and counselling service and BUPA healthcare to support the physical and mental health of staff.