This year, Appointedd took its first official step to invest in mental health protection and awareness in the company by training its Mental Health First Aiders. Marta Szatkowski and Tomek Nawrocki each stepped up as Appointedd’s official Mental Health First Aiders, and now anyone at the company can easily book time in with one of them. If anyone on staff is feeling overwhelmed or in need of extra support, they now have someone to turn to who can provide further resources and understanding. In today’s blog, we’re talking to Marta about why becoming a Mental Health First Aider was important to her, and why she believes in Mental Health First Aid in the workplace.

What made you choose to train as a Mental Health First Aider? Why is Mental Health First Aid important to you?

Training as a MHFA was a career and personal goal of mine for a number of years. In my career, I experienced and witnessed situations where mental health was discredited in the workplace with a large lack of empathy and understanding. This spurred me on to gain the training, so that I could act as a safe and accessible point of contact for mental health support to all colleagues. When I joined Appointedd I expressed my goal to qualify and quickly had the support behind me to do so.

We spend the majority of our time in the workplace (in the office or remote) and so it’s really important to have a space where, even if you are struggling or not having the best day, you know you will be looked after and there’s someone that you can speak to.

Since completing my training, it’s also great to see a number of our clients who use Appointedd to offer bookable MHFA appointments for their teams.

When/where did you train to be a Mental Health First Aider? 

I did my training in an online setting with MHScot Workplace Wellbeing. This was a mix of online learning with 1:1 live tutorials, culminating in a final exam. I liked the online offering as I could fit this in around my workday, and the 1:1 sessions were a great chance to discuss course material and ask questions.

What advice would you give to an employer looking to implement Mental Health First Aid in their workplace?

I would advise for them to be open to the concept and to offer the opportunity for any team members who wants to do the training. I think a company understanding the benefit of implementing Mental Health First Aid is half the battle; if the employer understands and recognises the importance, this means they want to create a safe space for mental health and put just as much emphasis on it as physical wellbeing.

Explore what programmes are out there, speak to organisations about group training for teams. There’s a great community out there of companies who are happy to knowledge share, which can be a great resource when setting up a mental health program at work.

Published on 10 October 2023