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Lucid Group sets the vision for its team of committed Mental Health First Aiders

As we approach World Mental Health Day, Lucid's team of Mental Health First Aiders reflect on their training and set the vision for how they will be supporting the organisation and its people.

Karina Rudzinska leads Lucid Group’s wellbeing initiatives – LucidBeing, and is also its HR Manager. In the lead-up to World Mental Health Day, Karina discusses the vision for Lucid’s newly trained team of Mental Health First Aiders:

Angela Young, Katherine Weight, Victoria William, Karina Rudzinska, Karl Kemp-O’Brien, Owen Davies, Giselle Quartin, Jane Juif, Deborah Burrage, Elizabeth Scott. Different teams, different roles, different people. One of the things we all have in common though is that we are your Mental Health First Aiders who want to champion mental health for all.

On the 10th October, every year since 1992 societies around the globe observe World Mental Health Day, a programme by the World Federation for Mental Health. In line with this year’s event, we wanted to take some time to talk about what you can expect from your newly qualified Mental Health First Aiders.

First of all, expect passion and commitment to our responsibilities – we have all volunteered to take on these roles, as mental wellbeing is very close to our hearts for one reason or another. Furthermore, we now have all been qualified to action any mental health concerns following a best practice approach, in collaboration with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England. We feel it’s important to share with you how we can help you.

First and foremost, we will approach you at the right time and place to start an open, confidential conversation. We might reach out based on our own initiative, or through your own request, or request of someone who worried for you and asked us to check in. We will make sure you feel safe when we approach you about this.

Through this conversation, we will assess what you might be struggling with to then ascertain how to assist you. We might ask you about your thoughts, behaviours, any recent events that might be connected to how you are feeling and acting. We are not being nosey; a frank conversation is fundamental for us to be able to help you.

We will actively listen and communicate with you non-judgementally, acknowledging what you are going through. We are here to understand what you are going through to be able to signpost you to appropriate sources of help. We will assist you in making your own decisions rather than make the decisions for you.

We will provide you with emotional and practical support, and information. We will compassionately guide you to relevant, high-quality content and resources to ensure you get the help you might need. We are happy to have a cuppa with you just to chat, if this is all you need to get better.

We will encourage you to seek appropriate professional help if we think it might be required. We will discuss your options with you to enable you to take the next steps. We cannot and will not force you to get help, however, we will be keen to explore why you might not be wanting to seek help. And to reassure you we are here to support you, should you change your mind.

We will also encourage you to seek other sources of support. Family, friends, community, self-help strategies, Employee Assistance Programme, Vitality healthcare plan are examples of what we can explore together.

Finally and very importantly, we might ask you at some point if you are having suicidal thoughts. Asking about suicide does not encourage it, nor does it lead an individual to start thinking about it; in fact, it can start a potentially life-preserving conversation. If we ascertain that you are a danger to yourself or others, we might have to speak to someone outside of our dialogue to seek urgent help. We will tell you, if we can, if that’s the case.

It’s crucial to remember every mental health journey is ultimately a unique and personal experience, and we will flex our approach depending on what you need – however, regardless of what course events might take, we want you to know that you do not have to be going it alone.

9th October 2020