We heard from Michelle who had an ‘incredible career as the first female RAF paramedics to be deployed to the frontline. Michelle touched on this topic before sharing her experiences of the real battlefields she faced overcoming severe PTSD while confronting ghosts from her past.
The day’s agenda was packed with speakers from all walks, all with very different stories and experiences, battles and successes. Among these we heard from Zoe Thompson who spoke about her traumatic experience, being caught up in the Tunisia terror attacks and the immense struggle that followed as a survivor.
Denise Welch spoke openly of her post-natal depression following the birth of her son, and we watched Denise’s award-winning short film ‘Black Eyed Susan’.
With such intense and emotional topics, it was a relief to have Kerry Leigh to MC the day and allow us time in between to regroup, Kerry did an incredible job of bringing back the smiles and balance.
So why do I feel different about mental health now? I was already a trained mental health ambassador, but I hadn’t fully connected with the topic.
As the seminar progressed, delegates experienced a roller-coaster of emotions, sorrow, shock, horror, disbelief, realisation, empathy, acceptance. We laughed, we cried and everything between. And to round off the day, Mandy Tootill did a fantastic job of bringing us to tears of laughter.
The day was a tough day that rocked me to my core, and I now know… I mean really know, that we must do more. Not only should we put in place mental health ambassadors, but we need to make employees (myself included) more aware of the everyday occurrences that can build up incrementally to cause a mental health issue in any of us.
- Do we really know how we would react to life’s curve balls?
- Do we know these everyday events can build up to create an inner struggle.?
- How would we react to life’s significant incidents, the real shit storms of life?
I know I’ve had to deal with many and I have learnt that flicking that internal switch, shutting it off, and moving forward is a ‘coping mechanism’ but it’s is not a remedy.
Personally, I have many a ‘storm’ to reflect on and work through, and as a company mental health ambassador, I also have a clearer idea of how we work as a company, on prevention awareness and clarity on those incremental factors that can happen to anyone.
The more we discuss this as a business usual topic, the more we break down the barriers and allow for real talk.
I’d like to highly commend Michelle and would seriously recommend the ‘Care In MYnd Seminar’ for any business regardless of size.
If you employ humans, you have a duty for their care and wellbeing, physically, mentally and emotionally.
So, if you don’t mind, I’m off to reflect.