Mental Health First Aid 2015
Until February of 2012, Natalie Lynch didn’t have a strong awareness of someone struggling with mental health concerns. She had witnessed a very close colleague struggling - getting further and further from the person she knew and cared for, and all she could say was, “I just want you to get better.”
She figured he would shake it off and get over it. Instead, her colleague died by suicide 2 weeks later. Natalie realized that if she had known more, she could have done more.
That experience led Natalie, a Director of Customer Experience and Employee Engagement at UNIGLOBE One Travel to NAIT’s Mental Health First Aid course in 2015.
As an employee of 27 years, Natalie is ultimately responsible for people – whether they be the customers or employees of UNIGLOBE One Travel. Since taking the Continuing Education course Natalie has continued to use the hands-on training and skills and maintain awareness of the state of mental health in her workplace.
“If I knew then what I know now, I could have saved a life."
The Mental Health First Aid Program not only gave Natalie the ability to recognize some of the warning signs, but it also gave her the language and tools to become more valuable and compassionate to those who are struggling.
These days, many of us work in busy, and often stressful environments. As employers, we need to recognize the importance of supporting good mental health. As managers, we should be aware of signs of distress or disengagement.
We are all quick to keep our First Aid or CPR certification up to date, we should give the same consideration to educating ourselves in the Mental Health First Aid Program too.