Case Study – Julie Sarsfield – Quality Services Coordinator, Wisbech
When I heard that Princes was looking to build an in-house team of Mental Health First Aiders, I jumped at the chance to get involved.
I’ve worked for the company in various roles for over 25 years and I often get colleagues coming to me anyway with their problems. It was good to get the training, skills and detailed information on how to deal with various situations.
Our photographs and profiles are on all the colleague notice boards so everyone knows who we are and how to find us.
Everyone has good and bad days and I’ve found that colleagues respond well to being asked how they are. Even though it’s often harder for men to discuss their problems, it’s interesting to see men using the service too.
A few years ago, I suffered with depression and had counselling. But it’s important not to jump straight in and tell people you know how they feel and it is vital not to be judgemental. I’ve also been trained to spot the warning signs that indicate someone might be suffering in silence.
I’ve talked to people who have been struggling at work and helped to solve problems before they escalated. I’ve had men break down in tears. Others have had issues outside of the workplace.
It’s so important to be kind because there are all sorts of issues going on in people’s lives that you just don’t know about when they walk through the door into work.
Everything we do is confidential and it’s good that we have Mental Health First Aiders working on both day and night shifts. There is always someone available to talk to.
Just taking the time to listen to someone might be all that is required sometimes, but we can also put colleagues in touch with the emotional, physical or financial help that they need and we can show them how to access advice and wellbeing apps – which are really good – on the company’s Feel Good Hub.
It’s great that Princes is doing this and I’m proud of what we have achieved so far. The vision and values are making the workplace a better place.
It’s why I’m looking forward to seeing more Mental Health First Aiders coming on board across our other sites because together we can make a difference.