Meet MRG’s Mental Health First Aiders

The Management Recruitment Group (MRG) take the mental well-being of our teams very seriously, and with one in four people in the UK* experiencing mental health struggles, it’s a cause we believe should be at the forefront of all employers’ minds.

We implement several measures to support the mental well-being of our colleagues, including offering mental health provisions in our private healthcare, flexible working, dogs in the office and online courses organised through the Lighthouse Project. During the last two Mental Health Awareness Weeks in October, we ran events such as organised walks, talks on mental health at work and yoga. Our official charity of the year is Mind Mental Health, an organisation committed to providing information and support channels for those suffering from poor mental health in the UK.

Never more so than now is it imperative we create a culture of transparency and support around mental health. We recognise that recent stressors from the wider world have profoundly impacted people in the workplace. Well-known pressures include the global pandemic and a cost of living crisis, which can affect people’s mental well-being. At work, we have changed how we communicate, now digitally and often from home rather than face to face. And while we welcome a flexible working culture, we recognise that working away from people for long periods could exacerbate feelings of isolation. Because of these factors, MRG has invested in training several staff members to become Mental Aid First Aiders.

What is a Mental Aid First Aider?

Mental Aid First Aiders are trained externally to offer expert guidance and support mental health in the workplace. Their role in the business is to create an unshakable belief that we can all talk freely about mental health and seek support when needed. They are trained to signpost individuals towards professional mental health resources that are available.

Meet Ali, Emilia and Rob!

Thank you to Ali, Emilia and Rob for volunteering to be Mental Health First Aiders. Here’s what they have to say about their vital role at MRG:

I volunteered to become a Mental Health First Aider at MRG for a couple of reasons. I have a keen interest in good mental health and how to practice it, as I’ve personally been on a bit of a journey with my own mental health over the years. I was diagnosed with depression several years ago which led me to seek help, and on the path to recovery, I discovered the benefits of mindfulness, therapy, and a wide array of other techniques and practices which helped me to become more aware of my mental health and how to take care of it.

The MHFA training gave me the tools to be able to signpost others towards mental health services and support, as well as giving me the ability to become an effective and active listener – as often, it helps to simply talk about the issues to another person. I’m always looking for ways to improve mental health in the workplace and help to create safe spaces for people to bring their whole selves to work.”

Alison Shine, Executive Search Assistant & Training and Development Coordinator, MRG

Understanding Mental Health has been a lifelong passion for me, I am always trying to learn more from podcasts to books and getting involved with things like Nightline at university and, of course, now as a Mental Aid First Aider at work.

My desire to advocate for mental health is driven by my own journey of learning how to look after my well-being, and from this journey, I have developed a toolbox of strategies to offer meaningful support. However, I believe that the most important thing to remember when helping others goes beyond advice-giving; it’s about creating a safe space where individuals feel empowered to open up and receive the support they truly need.

I’m keen to bring my skills and experiences to contribute to MRG’s commitment to fostering a mentally healthy workplace, and I deeply appreciate MRG’s recognition of the importance of mental health at work.

Emilia Fasano, Business Director, MRG

As someone who will continue to deal with mental health challenges throughout my personal life, I understand the impact and how it can affect all aspects of someone’s life, including the work place. Having been in the recruitment industry for over 20 years, I felt that I would be able to offer an understanding and personal empathy to challenges that people may be struggling with. I would be able to draw on my own experiences to offer support and give very real-life examples that would give confidence to people. Being a MHFA practitioner is something that I am very proud of and having the training to offer guidance and signposting is very empowering. I want to help people, be it by utilising my own experiences and journey or through my training and expertise.

Rob Cullum, Senior Practise Manager, MRG

To learn more about becoming at Mental Health First Aider visit: 

*Mind Mental Health Charity

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