11th May 2022
I work in the Communications Team at Plus Dane and I've recently become a Mental Health First Aider; something I'm really passionate about. I thought I would share my story during Mental Health Awareness Week...
I first became interested in being a Mental Health First Aider because of my role and being conscious of using the right language when writing about mental health and developing campaigns. It’s something I had been fearful of in the past, using incorrect language and potentially offending or upsetting someone, so getting some training around the issue was something I welcomed.
I also work with people from across every team in the organisation, so I realised my opportunity to promote wellbeing was quite extensive and I wanted to be part of the change and help break down some of the barriers and stigma attached to mental health which prevents people seeking help.
Mental Health First Aiders are trained in listening and signposting people to appropriate support. There are a group of trained Mental Health First Aiders in Plus Dane, and we are here to support colleagues whenever they need to talk.
We plan a range of different activities throughout the year to provide opportunities for colleagues to chat to us and get to know us in informal settings. Sometimes it’s the more general chats that can encourage someone to open up and ask for support, like when people go to the doctors about something and talk about other things, then mention the real issue as they’re walking out the door!
We know it’s not easy for people to come forward and admit they are struggling, it’s the reason we have invested in this programme as an organisation. I am one of those people, so I totally get it. I hope that being a mental health first aider will help me to open up more and if I can help one of my colleagues then it will have been worthwhile.
I’d encourage organisations that don’t have Mental Health First Aiders to look into it, it's so worthwhile and can have so many positive benefits. And if you are struggling and need some support with your mental health, please open up to someone, it's true what they say, a problem shared…