Nicki Mason

Nicki writes:

After a two-day training course, I am proud to be a fully qualified mental health first aider.

I attended the MHFA England mental health first aid training in Ashford on 12 – 13 February. I was a bit apprehensive at first, but it was really good. In fact, I loved it, and couldn’t wait to go back the next day.

It was a very in-depth course, covering difficult subjects.

The main learning was about listening: to listen more, not to judge people, how to support people. You don’t want people to be scared to come to you if they have a problem. It is important to learn to be approachable.

The course teaches you that people have issues, and it’s important to look further. Don’t be judgemental and especially don’t judge by appearances.

A really nice atmosphere

There was a variety of people on the course. It included office managers, civil engineers, project managers, and we all worked well together, with a really nice friendly atmosphere.

I was originally going to attend last year, but it had to be put off. I’m so glad I finally managed to get to do it. I’m proud to be one of VGC’s mental health first aiders – there are twelve of us now. (That’s on top of all the mental health champions who have done VGC’s shorter course.)

It was a really good course and I really enjoyed it. I strongly recommend it to anyone.

Nicki Mason is the general manager of Cole Hire, a VGC company which provides specialist vehicle hire, including refrigerated and freezer vans.

VGC is training more members of staff, so we will soon have mental health champions and mental health first aiders on every site. They offer support to any staff member who is experiencing issues with their mental wellbeing, and signpost them to the right help.

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