Time to Support Each Other

This is Mental Health Awareness Week, and it arguably couldn’t have been better timed.

Life can be difficult and horrible sometimes, even when the world looks normal; but the Coronavirus crisis has thrown up a whole load of new stresses and anxieties which none of us could ever have expected to face. Whether you are working from home, furloughed from your normal role or returning to a workplace which looks very different from how it did a few weeks ago, we are all facing new challenges.

Understandably, Mila has talked a lot in our communications over recent weeks about how we are protecting the physical health of our team and our customers, but much less about how we are protecting their mental health. However, we do have people in place who are trained to support anyone within the business who is struggling.

Joe Montague and Dawn Brentegani have both taken part in Mental Health First Aid England’s two-day course centred around mental health first aid in the workplace, and they are the people who everyone here should know that they can turn to and ask for support.

It’s not up to Joe and Dawn to be counsellors though – far from it. Their role is to provide a sympathetic, non-judgemental and completely confidential ear. Above all, we want them to make sure that anyone who is struggling feels supported within the business, and knows exactly how to access the professionals, groups or organisations who can provide the practical help they need.

I’m glad that we invested ahead of time in making sure that Joe and Dawn had professional training and I’ve no doubt that it will be even more valuable than we’d thought in the months ahead.

We’re doing our bit this week by sharing some of what they have learned about signposting individuals to useful sources of support with the wider industry. Recommended websites include the NHS Every Mind Matters resource and the mental health pages within the  government’s Coronavirus support website – both of which are a practical and positive place for anyone who is struggling to start.



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