INTRODUCING OUR MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AIDERS
We are always looking to invest in our employees to create an environment where health, safety and wellbeing are a priority. At Rendall & Rittner, we strongly believe that our people are our greatest asset and that is why we have trained our own team of Mental Health First Aiders. To mark April as Stress Awareness Month, we thought we would take the opportunity to introduce our Mental Health First Aiders.
Jenniffer Mann – JM
Rebecca Sutcliffe – RS
Rebecca Lawrence – RL
Melissa Christoforuou- MC
James Campbell-Skelly – JCS
Sarah Hynes – SH
Victoria Arnold - VA
What made you want to be a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA)?
JM: My lack of knowledge! The number of people affected by ill mental health, means someone I work with is likely to be dealing with something in the present moment. I want to offer the right kind of support and deliver what they need and not what I think they need! Everyone should be able to talk about their feelings (to someone), without the fear of judgement.
RS: Living with poor mental health can be a struggle especially at work and there aren’t always options available if you need someone to confide in. I know how isolating it can feel so I’d like to be that potential help for other people who may need someone to talk to or information on where to get help from.
JCS: Having first-hand experience of being desperate, not knowing where to turn or even what to say, I know how lonely and dark life can seem. I don’t want anybody to feel anything like this but if they do, I am available to listen and help.
What do you hope to achieve by becoming a MHFA?
MC: Having suffered with mental health issues, I know how important it can be to find someone who understands and can offer help. I hope to be able to offer the same support to someone as I’ve been lucky enough to have received in the past.
SH: There is still judgement around mental illnesses, such as being a sign of weakness or failure. I hope to raise awareness and best practice on this for staff who have someone in their team (or life) who is showing signs of mental health issues which need support, understanding or guidance. MHFAs aren’t counsellors or professional experts, but I hope we will be able to give initial support, a neutral and active listening service, and guidance on appropriate help and resources, to anyone who is experiencing a mental health issue or crisis.
What do you consider to be your most useful wellbeing tool?
RS: Talking out loud. I’ve tried writing down my thoughts and feelings, but I’ve found having a good old vent helps a lot.
RL: Listening to music. I find it improves my mood and provides an outlet for me to take control of my feelings. Sometimes it can help me to stop over thinking which helps me to refocus. When I struggle to sleep, I find playing mindfulness music helps me to relax me.
VA: Paying attention to my sleep habits. When I feel overwhelmed my sleeping pattern tends to be all over the place, so it acts as a good warning system to let me know that maybe something isn’t right. Then I make sure to plan some time with a friend to talk through anything that’s going on.
Posted: 21 April 2022