This week is Mental Health Awareness week and this year’s theme is loneliness. Feelings of loneliness are personal, so everyone’s experience will be different. Feeling loneliness is not always the same as being alone, which can be an enjoyable experience and you can have lots of social contact while still feeling lonely.
At Quorum, we pride ourselves on the excellent environment that we provide and foster a supportive, progressive, and sympathetic culture. We care about the health and wellbeing of our employees and one way that we offer support is through our trained Mental Health First Aiders.
Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) helps Mental Health First Aiders assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis. MHFA is an internationally recognised training course and is designed to be an initial response to distress until other suitable or professional help can be found.
It is our hope that anyone in Quorum who may be experiencing loneliness and associated mental health problems knows that they have someone they can reach out to, be it a colleague or manager. However, in having Mental Health First Aiders, people who may not be comfortable with reaching out to others now have a trained point of contact, who can provide support and advice and adhere to confidentiality.
We asked our Mental Health First Aiders, Megan and Katia, why they chose to be trained and what it means to them to help their colleagues.
Why did I want to become a Mental Health First Aider? A question that I sometimes wonder if I should answer 100% truthfully. Which is, ironically, part of the reason.
I wanted to become a Mental Health First Aider because I know what it is like to experience poor mental health. I have been through the discovery, the turmoil and the self-education that follows being diagnosed with a mental illness.
At the time I did not have anyone to really speak to in what was a very confusing situation to be in. I still have periods where I need support and understanding to come out the other side.
Mental Wellbeing is just as important as the physical, yet it is still misunderstood and sometimes stigmatized. Only through the education and normalisation of mental ill health can we stop those that suffer from it feeling unsupported.
This in turn can help them manage their illness and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
That is where Mental Health First Aiders come in. They are the person that can provide a piece of stability in the uncertainty of mental illness. Sometimes all you need is to know that someone understands, and it makes the road to recovery a little less rocky.
Even somebody that has lived with mental Illness for years still goes through periods of instability and needs help from their employer to work their way through it successfully.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. The two co-exist and should not be treated separately.
I became a Mental Health First Aider because I wanted to help colleagues going through difficult times by handling these issues professionally. Mental illness is often more difficult to bear than physical illness. In many cases, this is due to people judging themselves too harshly when it comes to their mental health and how the pain they are going through would be accepted by the world.
It is very important for me and for Quorum that everyone feels safe and confident that they can talk to someone at work! Feeling like you are at home with the family, where there is nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. This is a long process that may be paused, then restarted again. Everyone wants to receive understanding and support from their employer.
Positive mental health allows people to realise their full potential, cope with whatever life throws at them, and maximise their productivity.
There are times when all people need is someone who cares and will listen without judgment. Although there have been significant improvements in recent years regarding the way people handle mental health struggles, there is still a lot that can be done to make people feel comfortable discussing such issues.
The quality of our mental health is very important to me because happiness takes shape on the inside as well as the outside 😊
There is never a wrong time to ask for help and support, and there is never a wrong time to listen to others.
Want to learn more?
AWARDS & RECOGNITION