A Glimpse into the Journey of Paula, Our Operations Manager and Mental Health First Aider
In the fast-paced world of modern workplaces, mental health can sometimes be overlooked. However, at Marshall Wolfe, our Operations Manager and newly appointed Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) Paula has brought this to the forefront and offered a refreshing outlook. As she approaches the one-year mark since completing her MHFA training, Paula reflects on how this journey has transformed not only her approach to supporting colleagues but also the entire workplace culture at Marshall Wolfe.
Discovering Insights Through Challenges:
The MHFA course is no ordinary undertaking. Paula reveals that delving into the world of mental health was both challenging and insightful. “It made me stop and consider my own language during conversations,” Paula shares. “I’ve since actively stopped myself from saying ‘at least…’ when trying to comfort a friend as I realise now this doesn’t really show empathy like I originally intended. Actively listening to someone and being there to support is more appropriate.” The two-day course wasn’t just a professional boost; it became a catalyst for personal growth.
Sharing Wisdom Within the Team:
One of the standout lessons for Paula was the emphasis on self-care. The MHFAider course draws a parallel between this concept and the airplane’s oxygen mask analogy – putting on your own mask first before assisting others. This lesson has been embraced by the Marshall Wolfe team, leading to workshops centred on self-care. As Paula puts it, “We’ve since held mini workshops on topics like this to encourage self-care as a priority in the team.” This focus on well-being reflects the company’s core value of putting people first.
Bridging the Mental Health Gap:
Putting theory into practice, Paula’s role as an MHFAider has involved several transformative steps:
- Increasing Awareness: Ensuring that the team is aware of the designated MHFA and how to reach out.
- Integration into Onboarding: Incorporating Mental Health focused training into the onboarding process for new employees.
- Breaking Stigmas: Encouraging open conversations about mental health to eradicate the lingering stigma.
- Mini Workshops: Organising regular workshops on topics like anxiety, stress management, and more.
- Listening without Judgement: Becoming an active listener, fostering a safe space for expression.
- Utilising Resources: Leveraging the MHFAider support app for guidance and assistance.
- Promoting External Support: Advocating the use of the Hub of Hope app and website for additional support.
Aligned with Core Values:
At Marshall Wolfe, the commitment to people’s well-being shines through. Introducing a MHFAider is a testament to our company’s dedication to cultivating a safe and supportive environment. Paula emphasises, “Having a MHFAider on our team felt like a natural step in the right direction. We want to break the stigma and allow a safe space to have discussions surrounding Mental Health so that we ensure our colleagues feel valued and supported.” This aligns perfectly with the company’s values and vision for the future.
Stepping into the Future:
So, what lies ahead for mental health in the workplace? Paula’s vision is clear: “Our goal is to continue to develop a resilient workforce by equipping individuals with coping strategies, stress management techniques, and the ability to seek help when needed.” The path forward involves open conversations, team training, and continuing to help break down the stigma around mental health.
The Power of the MHFA Qualification:
Completing the MHFA course doesn’t qualify you as a mental health professional but rather a qualified Mental Health First Aider. The training equips individuals with the confidence to identify signs of crisis and provide essential support and guidance, leading colleagues toward the appropriate help they may need.
A Bright Horizon Ahead:
As Paula reflects on her journey as an MHFAider, it’s evident that her role has far-reaching effects. From fostering empathy in conversations to leading well-being initiatives, she has ignited a transformation within Marshall Wolfe – A future where mental health is prioritised and well-being is nurtured seems not just promising, but inevitable.
If you’d like to be included in future discussions on mental well-being in the workplace or find out how to become a MHFAider, please reach out to Paula on email@example.com or visit mhfaengland.org to enrol someone in your team on a MHFA course.