Proud to Be - Marion

This month Marion, Organisational Development Coordinator, shares her Proud to Be story marking Mental Health Awareness Month.

“I’m Marion and I am the Organisational Development Coordinator and a Mental Health First Aider at St Michael’s and have worked at the Hospice for just over 10 years.

“Psychology has always interested me and I like to think I am a caring person and always look out for my colleagues, so when the opportunity to apply to train as a Mental Health First Aider came up, I was keen to apply to do it. I previously worked as an Administrator in the Bereavement team for 9 years and subsequently had a lot of conversations with people referred to the service who were not only dealing with their grief, but the huge impact this had on their mental health. I have also supported colleagues and friends who have struggled with their mental health over the years.

“I enjoy my Mental Health First Aider role because it is so rewarding being able to help people who are struggling or are concerned about a colleague, a short conversation at the point when it is needed can make all the difference to someone who is having a tough day and the colleague they would normally offload to isn’t there. Encouraging people to speak to their manager and/or seek external help can make them realise that it is OK to ‘not to be OK’ and give themselves permission to seek help.

“Having my own mental health diagnosis has also made me far more aware of the importance of looking after yourself, there is help out there if you ask for it and lots you can do to help yourself, you can get better. In some ways I think we are all unofficial Mental Health First Aiders if we are looking out for our families, friends and colleagues, and taking the time to listen and talk to them.

“I am proud to be a Mental Health First Aider because our mental health is just as important as our physical health but we are not always good at recognising it.”