Mental Health – it’s more and more relevant in these crazy times we live in. Working from home, stress from world events, financial concerns…and in the IT business, add to that long hours; on site client work; our 24/7 support team who’s always on. Our people here at IP have a lot to deal with.
That’s why at the beginning of the year one of our Project Managers, Dura Ghaffar, stepped up into an additional role of Mental Health First Aider. What a legend! Dura is a qualified yoga instructor, who has also specialised in yoga for trauma, so she’s a very valuable person to have in the role.
So what is a Mental Health First Aider? Backed by a government initiative, this program sets up a person with dedicated mental health training, kind of like traditional first aid. Over 3 full days, Dura was trained to be the first point of contact for anyone experiencing mental health issues at Intelligent Pathways. Our employees can contact Dura at any time for a strictly confidential session, where she will listen and provide guidance towards quality help. Part of Dura’s role is also keeping an eye out for anyone who seems to be going through a rough time. Employees now have a safe, confidential, trained point of contact at work.
Dura says her experience in the industry witnessing stress and burnout was a big motivator for her to take on the role. ‘Mental illness is common, and it’s recoverable with appropriate treatment and support. I think initiatives like this are key for helping reduce some of the stigma around mental health and also helping those in leadership roles in managing people and managing employees better.’
As we’ve learned recently, you never know when life might take an unexpected turn. With new initiatives being rolled out like this at Intelligent Pathways, we hope to support our people all the way through not only this tough year, but in the busy world of IT and beyond. A Mental Health First Aider is just a first step, but it’s a crucial one, and with education as a starting point, Dura says: “We cannot help everyone, but everyone can help someone”, let’s raise awareness and contribute to make a difference.