I’ve been with Cashflows for a little over three months now and I’ve always believed that as with anything, you usually get back what you put in. I’ve always been keen to get involved in projects, especially volunteering. I was passed an opportunity to support Stress Matters, through the Matchable partnership, at their booth during an event. Supported by my manager, I agreed right away. They’re a mental health advocacy and workplace wellbeing company. What I didn’t know at the time, was this decision to support them would lead to a more significant journey.
It was explained to me that to provide the best support at the Stress Matters booth, I would need to be mental health first aid trained. It is something I had heard about before and having been trained in physical first aid previously it made sense to add this skill.
In my personal life, I have encountered several people who were experiencing mental ill-health. I have needed to manage that and learn the best way to cope with little guidance. This taught me a lot about resilience, empathy, and patience. Now having had formal training and a framework to work from, I am more confident and informed if those discussions happen again, which I anticipate they will. As many as one in six people at work are experiencing mental ill-health in one form or another. It’s important to remember that someone’s mental health is not a mark of their character. There can be a multitude of reasons as to why someone is unwell, and often these factors are outside of their control.
The role of a mental health first aider is to be there for someone, possibly as the first step on a journey of recovery. In the same way that physical first aid provides the first layer of support, mental health first aid provides initial help to someone in need. First aiders aren’t paramedics, and mental health first aiders aren’t therapists. We don’t provide advice or diagnose; we’re here to provide information on how you might be able to get more help or ways that might help manage your mental health better. Some people may simply need the chance to talk and be listened to unjudgementally.
I’m looking forward to being present at the Stress Matters booth at the Showman Show, October 20th, and I’ll be continuing to study the MHFA England manual I was sent to get the most out of it; all 275 pages!
The Cashflows x Matchable partnership began in January, with the intent of supporting colleagues to give back to the community whilst learning and developing their skills further. Matchable pairs people with volunteering opportunities that are suited to their professional experience, where they can significantly help a charity, start-up, or non-profit, build their business. Since starting the collaboration, our colleagues have helped support women in Uganda, developed the HR department of a company making activewear out of recycled plastic, built out the sales strategy for a charity supporting domestic violence survivors, and so much more.
Find out more about how we support our colleagues to grow here.