Time to Talk Day Part 2
One of the benefits of signing up to the Worcestershire Works Well scheme is that we receive information about national (and local) initiatives to promote wellbeing. One of the areas we have been focusing on since completing our Worcestershire Works Well level one accreditation in 2016 is mental health and wellbeing. You may have seen the article in our newsletter two weeks ago promoting the day. Additional to the newsletter article, each member of staff found a small leaflet on their desk or in their pigeon hole about the day encouraging them to have a conversation about mental health.
At a time when Deaf Direct needed some extra admin support in HQ, volunteer Breish Rowe stepped in to help. We had some contact with her before and identified that she was confident, friendly and articulate- and could easily cope with tackling some of the emails Philip receives whilst I was off sick!
After seeing the newsletter showing Deaf Direct’s participation in Time to Talk Day, she asked if she could write a newsletter article about her experience working with us.
Laura Cutting – PA to CEO / Interpreter
It was Time to Talk Day on 2nd February, which aims to raise awareness of mental health issues. Despite the fact 1 in 4 people will suffer from mental ill health in their lifetime, there is still a huge stigma surrounding this issue. Employers can do a lot to help remove this stigma by taking positive steps to support their employees.
Deaf Direct is a good example. I have suffered from anxiety and depression for a few years, and Philip Gerrard, CEO, was aware of my struggles. He offered to help me get back on the horse, so to speak, by giving me the opportunity to volunteer at Deaf Direct. He identified my skills and we discussed how I could work without the pressure of normal employment, with flexible hours and tasks that were tailored to my situation. This work has boosted my confidence immensely, reminding myself that I am more than my illness and that I can and will get better. The people at Deaf Direct are warm, friendly and understanding. Philip was discreet and supportive. I just wish other places could be the same!
My advice to anyone experiencing mental health issues is to be open and honest, both to yourself and your employer. Only then can positive steps be taken to minimise the impact and help recovery. Together we can remove the stigma once and for all.
Breish Rowe – Volunteer