As part of our Wellbeing programme we have a team of 28 colleagues trained as Mental Health Frist Aiders (MHFA) to support our colleagues across our sites. Here we meet Chloe and Michael, and hear how Chloe’s support made a difference to Michael’s mental health challenges both inside, and outside, of the workplace.
Chloe, Contact Centre Leader (Customer Relations), Bexhill
Why did you want to become a Mental Health First Aider?
I wanted to become a MHFA because I’ve always been passionate about supporting colleagues with their wellbeing, and I think it’s important that colleagues feel comfortable in the workplace knowing they will get the appropriate support if needed.
What is the difference between a MHFA and a Wellbeing Champion as part of our Wellbeing programme?
A mental health first aider has been through training that means we are equipped to have the appropriate conversation with someone that is struggling with their mental health. And although we are by no means trained therapists, we do know the options that may be available and will discuss so the right support is highlighted.
What feedback have you had from others in the business?
I’ve had some really nice feedback from colleagues that I have supported with one even saying the help quite literally saved their life!
What would you say to anyone that is struggling mentally and not sure what to do?
If anyone is struggling with their mental health I would say speak up, whether that is to a mental health first aider, family members, friends, colleagues, your manager or a doctor. You will get the support you need and won’t be alone. All the mental health first aiders at Hastings Direct are so approachable and they are a MHFA because they are passionate about helping people, so don’t be afraid to say if you need help.
Michael, Customer Relations Representative, Bexhill
Michael was supported by Chloe when he was going through a challenging experience.
“I have experienced depression and anxiety that has ended with low self-esteem. During a fall in 2018 into 2019 my Team Leader at the time, Chloe, was a Mental Health First Aider and I believe she used her knowledge and support through what she’d learned, along with her own passion for helping those with health issues.”
“Chloe was unreal and I can’t thank her enough. She was one of the people who helped me, along with my immediate family, friends and CBT therapist. We would have regular meetings – at first every other week, then we met every three weeks, then four, until we dropped them altogether. This gave me the chance to share with her how I was feeling and how my day to day life was.”
“Chloe was like a bridge between my family and therapist as she provided the professional service with a close relationship. It was extra comforting as I was able to share my thoughts without worrying that it would be too overwhelming. The best thing Chloe did was treat me like everyone else. When I was out of line with her she empathised but still made me know it wasn’t acceptable as she would’ve with anyone else. Chloe’s support was also great when I told the team of my illness and allowed me time compose myself, which was great.”
To find out more about what we offer our colleagues, click here.
Date added: 15th July 2020