16 December 2020
We are delighted to introduce our two new mental health First Aiders at Hunter Selection
Mental health issues are some of the most common health problems anyone is likely to face each year, with one in four people of all ages likely to experience a mental health-related problem.
Despite the prevalence of mental health problems, for too long people have ‘suffered in silence’ in the workplace. That’s why we are delighted to introduce our two new mental health First Aiders at Hunter Selection — Rob Baxter, Technology Director and Claire Torrington, Customer Relationship Manager. We caught up with these two to find out more about the important part Mental Health First Aiders can play in the daily lives of everyone in an organisation.
What made you want to volunteer to become a mental health first aider?
Claire — “I know a lot of people close to me who have struggled with mental health over the years and I have felt helpless and ill-informed, but also since being a school Governor and lecturing in a college I have realised the wider impact of unsupported poor mental health and how traumatic events at a younger age can lead to struggles in adult life.” Rob added “I wanted to understand more about mental health issues and be able to help people. The course was invaluable and has already enabled me to start the process of helping others while being confident I’m doing the right things.”
So, what kind of things does the course teach you?
Claire — “The course gives you a general understanding of every mental condition from anxiety, depression and stress to Psychosis and suicide to approach those in need. Our role is to listen without judgement, support and encourage them to get help from friends, family and professionals. It is about breaking down stigmas around mental health and normalising talking about it.” Rob — “We learned strategies around how to help people who may require MHFA; the main lesson I learned was the importance of non-judgmental listening and asking the right questions.”
What would you say to other organisations who are considering enlisting their own MHFA?
Rob — “I would encourage other organisations to get the right people onto the MHFA course. Having people that understand the issues, and know-how to assist is a positive thing for any business. With the year we’ve had in 2020, it’s never been more important to have a good and empathetic understanding of the importance of good mental health and wellbeing, and how to help those who are finding things difficult.”
What encouragement would you give to anyone considering volunteering as an MHFA?
Claire — Do it – it’s a great course which makes a difference but do it for the right reasons as it’s a commitment to want to help others and stick your neck out!”
Finally, what would you say to anyone who has been struggling with their mental health in the workplace?
Rob — “Please talk to someone who can help if you are struggling. People talking and opening up about their issues can often be the first step towards understanding their issue and starting the process of recovery. Just sharing your issues and ‘getting things off your chest’ can make a real, immediate difference to your wellbeing.” Claire also said “Speak to someone, don’t suffer in silence and know that there is hope and support out there.”
If you would like to find out more about becoming a mental health first aider follow this link to learn more (https://mhfaengland.org/)