The Mere introduces Mental Health First Aider
The focus on mental health and wellbeing has become one of the prominent issues around the world. In Britain alone, a mixture of anxiety and depression is the most common mental health disorder with 7.8% of sufferers, with a stat of 4-10% of people in England experiencing depression in their lifetime according to MentalHealth.org.
At The Mere, we put the wellbeing of our team first and continue to introduce new ways to work together to ensure they have the support they require. Clair Smith, HR Manager, has recently qualified as a mental health first aider.
This means Clair is now a point of contact for any team member who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. Trained to spot the early signs and symptoms of mental ill health, she is able to start a supportive conversation and encourage the team member to access appropriate professional support or self-health strategies. Along with this, she can offer advice to managers who need support and help regarding a member of their team with a mental illness.
To qualify as a mental health first aider, a two-day Mental Health First Aid course was undertaken. Clair commented ‘It was a comprehensive awareness and skills course which included a mix of presentations, discussions and group work activities. Just like my physical first aid qualification, I will take a MHFA refresher course every three years to ensure I update my knowledge and skills to perform the role confidently and safely”.
Mental health has become very prevalent within the workplace and mental health should be treated with the same importance and sense of urgency as any physical illness. “The benefit of introducing this is that we have received positive engagement from our team members, they appreciate that we have introduced this. It has helped to remove the stigma around talking about the subject and ultimately it means we can support and help someone to get the help they need much sooner.
“The most important thing that I took away from the course was that, ultimately, the more we can do to remove the discrimination and stigma around mental health, the easier it will be for people to access the help and support they need”.