Joy’s Story

In 2014 I started to become unwell. I didn’t know what was happening but I knew that something was changing and I was needing a lot of help and support to even exist. I had never felt so low.

I was encouraged to go see a psychologist who started putting together a recovery plan for me. It sounded like a lot of work but I knew I needed to give it a try. I started attending two mindfulness courses, volunteering and a peer support group.

I was introduced to Mental Health First Aid whilst using a local mental health charity and was able to access Mental Health First Aid England’s training course, becoming a First Aider myself.

Becoming a Mental Health First Aider was a turning point in my own recovery and I soon returned to work, this time as a peer-support worker for Hestia in Brent. With both Hestia and my manager’s positive and recovery-based approach, I grew professionally and my mental health improved enormously. I am now the Co-production Coordinator in Brent using my previous experience as a trainer to become qualified as a Mental Health First Aider trainer.

I am now working with Hestia’s HR team to rollout Mental Health First Aider training across the organisation. It is vital that organisations have Mental Health First Aiders for their employees to speak with and gain practical advice. My journey continues to this day and I am able to use my experience to encourage others.

Mental Health First Aiders

In 2018, Hestia committed to training a number of Mental Health First Aiders, with the aim of reducing mental health stigma in the workplace and ensuring staff have a point of contact if they are struggling.

We now have almost 30 trained members of staff across London who are able to spot the signs of a colleague in distress and take action, including John (read his story here.)

Here's 5 reasons all organisations need a Mental Health First Aider.

Learn more about Hestia's Mental Health & Complex Needs service