An introduction to mental health at DLG
Do you have a mental illness?
Have you had a cold in the past year?
Which one would feel most comfortable discussing with your partner, GP or close friend?
There shouldn’t be any hesitation to talk about your mental health. So why do we find it much easier to talk about our physical health, when both are equally as important? It’s not a topic that should only be discussed on Mental Health Awareness Day.
Mental health is a spectrum of different feelings that can affect anyone at any time. And just because someone has it worse than you, that doesn’t mean your needs are any less legitimate.
I’ve suffered from depression over the years, as I know a lot people reading this will have too, often in silence as you don’t want to burden others or be a pain.
But guess what…people want to help! We want to make people feel better.
I was once told something by a manager that has stayed with me. He explained that no job, position or business is worth more than your own health. You need to do whatever it is to make you better.
And do you know what? He was right.
After that conversation it was like a weight had been lifted. It felt easier to let others deal with problems that I would have previously burdened myself with.
Being a mental health first aider
Now I’m lucky enough to be one of DLG’s new mental health first aiders. I really wanted to do this, and I feel extremely proud to be part of a company which is taking mental health seriously.
In my role I can help people get the help and support they need, whether that’s providing a friendly ear or signposting someone to an outside organisation such as CareFirst.
In May this year I went on a two-day training course. I was involved in really emotional conversations about everything from dealing with stress at work to noticing the signs of someone who has suicidal thoughts and more complex needs.
What was the training like?
The training was a real eye opener and we learnt lots of different things. Just like physical first aid the mental health first aider is there to stop immediate trauma and to preserve life.
Our training material was based on ALGEE:
A: Assess for risk of suicide or harm
L: Listen non-judgmentally
G: Give reassurance and information
E: Encourage appropriate professional help
E: Encourage self-help and other support strategies
Mental health at DLG
DLG is passionate about mental health. In the last year it’s trained 130 people to be mental health first aiders – as well as all people managers.
In addition to the support provided by mental health first aiders, DLG employees can also call a dedicated 24hr support line provided by Care First.
Remember. It’s okay to ask for help. You’re not a burden. Please talk to a friend, a colleague or mental health first aider. You’re not alone.
Together we can smash down the stigma.