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Marsh Finance is passionate about promoting positive well-being for our employees and customers alike, which is why we’ve recently trained up a team of mental health first aiders who can provide a pillar of support to everyone.

As we’re approaching Men’s Health Awareness Month, we wanted to continue to raise awareness for men’s mental health. Our very own Andy McMorine is a qualified mental health first aider who offers fantastic support throughout the business. At Marsh, we believe in our staff and want their experience at work to be the best possible.

We recently sat down with Andy to discuss his experiences, including why he became a mental health first aider, and how his role can help others, keep reading to find out more…

Why did you become a mental health first aider?

Having experienced anxiety attacks first-hand and witnessing friends and colleagues struggle with addictions, stress, and depression, I felt it was essential to try to help people in the best way possible.

I’ve picked up many tips, techniques, and strategies throughout my life which may benefit those around me. Marsh’s 2020 employee survey highlighted that the business needed to do more to help employees with their welfare, which is when I volunteered to become a mental health first aider. The course was run by Manchester Mind and was absolutely brilliant in highlighting issues people face.

What did the course include?

The course offers 3 years of certification. I was taught how to spot signs of mental health struggles and when to offer support, amongst other skills. Sessions are online or face-to-face, ran by a MHFA England Instructor who provides over 14 hours of content. The course mixed instructor-led, independent and group work to give me the best insight into my role as an MHFA. By completing the course, I received the following:

· Hard copy workbook to support learning away from the sessions

· Digital copy

· Digital MHFA certificate

· Access to MHFA Support App for 3 years

Other benefits and information about the course can be found here.

What support can you provide?

A MHFA is simply a confidential outlet for someone to talk to and have someone listen to them. MHFAs can give support and information and offer encouragement and signpost individuals on how to seek more qualified help from professionals.

If you could give any advice to all employees who may be nervous about approaching their MHFA’s, what would that be?

Please do not be afraid to talk about any issues you may be feeling regarding mental health – the more we all talk about it, the more we break down any stigma. When you meet with a mental health first aider, you’ll be treated with the highest levels of confidentiality. Mental health first aid is similar to general first aid in that MHFA’s can help point you in the right direction for qualified support,

identical to if you break your arm, as a first aider, I can put you in a support bandage, but then you need to go to a hospital to fully repair it and put it in plaster.

Do you have any well-being tips that you would recommend?

Talk to family and friends about how you feel because you will be amazed to learn you are not alone. Try to give yourself credit for things you have achieved to get where you are today, as we sometimes beat ourselves up too much. Relax and get plenty of sleep, as these are both critical to ensuring anxiety and stress levels can be maintained, and don’t forget to have some “you” time to step out of the whirlwind of life and “chill” for a while.

Please feel free to drop Amy or me a personal note, and we would love to support you and help you where we can.

Is there anything that you’d like to share?

Mental health is crucial to your well-being, and the stigma that any MH issues show signs of weakness is so outdated. Many high-level professionals and famous stars are opening up about their struggles and advising how they work to minimise them. Only this last week, I have taken to trying hypnosis to see if it helps me relax more, stop my migraines, and improve my sleep patterns, as I often find it hard to switch off, which can have a knock-on effect. (PS – so far, it is incredible and has had a positive impact!)

Although November is dedicated to men’s mental health, we should care for those around us and support them daily. For anyone reading this that may be looking for help, Marsh Finance is here to help.

Need support? The below charities can help:

Mind – https://www.mind.org.uk/

Samaritans – https://www.samaritans.org/

Men’s Health Forum – https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/

Rethink – https://www.rethink.org/

42nd Street – https://www.42ndstreet.org.uk/