World Mental Health Day is marked annually on the 10th of October and this year’s theme is ‘Make mental health and wellbeing a global priority’. As part of our own commitment to prioritising the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, our specially trained team of Mental Health First Aiders are on hand to provide a listening ear and guidance for those seeking additional support.
We caught up with a couple of our Mental Health First Aiders to find out more about what this important role entails.
Rebecca Sutcliffe, Compliance System Advisor – RS
James Campbell-Skelly, Head of Insurance – JCS
Why did you want to become a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA)?
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 – I have struggled with poor mental health over the years and have found that sharing this with somebody else really helps. It is the first step to a happier, healthier life and I want everybody to have this opportunity.
What does your role as an MHFA at Rendall & Rittner involve?
RS – Being available for anyone who may be struggling or needs someone to talk to. We aren’t qualified MH professionals, but we can listen and point people in the right direction if they feel they need additional support.
JCS – Being available, listening without judgement, having empathy and signposting to appropriate resources.
Over the past few years, more people are spending large amounts of time working remotely. How do you support your colleagues who are working remotely?
RS – I try to make time for a chat and check in with them. Workloads can make it difficult to find the time to speak to everyone, but as and when I do, I make sure I’m listening and being there for them, should they need me to be.
JCS – I take the time to call them, to ask them how they are and to listen. There are certain signs that somebody may be struggling and I look out for these, and ask how they are, asking again if they say “I’m ok”.
What skills do you think are most important in an MHFA?
RS – Listening and really taking in what is being said, not just waiting for your chance to speak. An open and non-judgemental mind if that’s a skill.
JCS – Empathy above all else. Active listening ensures people feel heard and even the smallest act of kindness helps a lot.
What have you learnt so far in your role as an MHFA?
RS – Apart from learning how to truly listen to somebody, I’ve learnt that despite the role someone is in, or how happy they appear to be, everyone is going through something. I have learnt not to judge a book by its cover and to treat everyone with the same respect and understanding.
JCS – Poor mental health does not discriminate.
The theme of World Mental Health Day this year is all about making mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority. What do you do to make your own wellbeing a priority?
RS – I often forget about my own needs and bottle things up, but I am working on positively changing that!
JCS – I take time to write daily and to reflect, even the shortest amount of time brings huge benefits. Exercise is vital for me, it produces the “good” chemicals and helps my overall resilience. Consistency is key, even a few days of neglecting these good habits negatively impacts me.
Delivering exceptional customer service is at the centre of everything that we do. National Customer Service Week is held annually to raise awareness of the significant role that customer service plays in the UK economy. To celebrate Customer Service Week, we asked our Divisional Directors, Matt Kirk and Jonathan Astle, and Director, Wale Oladunjoye, a few questions about customer service at Rendall & Rittner.
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