What an honour!

Running Growing Talent, it’s my responsibility and privilege to mentor and support vulnerable people to successfully complete and secure the permanent job on offer – literally changing their lives.

 

Like most things we experience vulnerability is on a scale.  People on Growing Talent come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some will be very vulnerable others not so.

 

This support doesn’t end with the programme.  I continue to mentor and support long after the programme has finished.

 

It’s been a difficult few months for one graduate of the programme from seven programmes ago.  Still employed and doing well at work but experiencing some personal issues.  A pendulum of events and emotions over the past few months will continue a while longer.  I have no doubt the person concerned will conquer this period and be a much more empathetic force.

 

I am very proud to have received this award and know that I do make a difference.

 

We should follow Action for Happiness’s view on automatic living.  We bundle through live without actually living it.  Taking a breath to take in our surroundings and live in the moment is so key to our wellbeing and strength.  I personally believe affirmation every day and a reflective period on what we have done well at the end of each day boosts out self-esteem and positivity.

 

I’ll look at my award every now and then to remind myself I do make a difference and do a good job.  Why don’t you try it and see how your self-esteem increases?

Back to the polls…….

It is especially hard to make an informed choice of who should govern the UK.  Typically, the leaders and political parties have acted like playground children acting their shoe size rather than their age.

 

There has been no clear understanding of what each party stands for and zero strong leadership.

 

Campaigns have been dull and uninspiring.  Almost like some mediocre soap opera.

 

My one hope is everyone recognises the value of being able to vote and use it, especially women.  It’s easy to take for granted this right and forget women died so that future women would get the vote.

 

Don’t spoil voting papers or refuse to vote.  Use your vote to make the best possible choice you can from the information you have.

 

MHFA Lite – Introduction to Mental Health

This is a three-hour workshop comprising a foundation of knowledge on the area of Mental Health First Aid.

 

Key areas covered in this comprehensive course include:

 

  • Language & Stigma
  • What is Mental Health?
  • Some common Mental Health issues
  • Supporting people in distress
  • Personal wellbeing

 

The 17 delegates were from all levels of staff at a global professional services Firm based close to London Bridge.

 

Interaction flowed as knowledge was shared through the Graffiti Wall, Stress Container, personal experience films and colleague discussion.

 

It’s always a ‘wait with baited breath’ moment until the evaluation forms have been analysed to see how well the course and me, the instructor, were received……

 

Firstly a few thoughts on the course:

‘Amazing course, felt very emotional during the training.  Feeling more optimistic about how to approach mental health and well being’

‘A good course  which brought home the importance of caring for yourself whilst caring for others’

‘Fantastic training’

 

& The Instructor:

”Well delivered, good level of audience participation’

‘Clear and approachable, created a comfortable environment for questions’

‘Passionate & easy to follow’

Rated  very good (top mark) by 12 of the 17 and Good (second highest) by the remaining 5.

 

I look forward to the next course on 9 June 2017

 

Get in touch for more information on mental health & wellbeing training available…..

 

 

#MHAW2017

So what does Mental Health Awareness Week mean?  It’s a great idea to get people talking about mental health.  After all, the mind is just another part of the body so why do we treat it differently to physical health?

 

There are so many buzz words/phrases around including ‘Take 10 At 10’ and ‘Green Light To Talk’ –  will these ideas really make a difference for the other 51 weeks of the year?

 

I guess the answer is really down to us individuals.  Are we going to be mindful of our own wellbeing as well as those around us both at home and work or are we reverting back to ‘ignore it and it’ll go aware’?  It’s a choice we all have.

 

But where did the negativity come from?  Try making a list of neutral words to describe mental ill-health and another one for negative words.  I bet your list for negative words is a lot longer than the neutral one.  We only have to think back to our childhoods at primary school and the awful names we called each other seem to still trip off the tongue.

 

When we look to the media, historically they have been offensive towards those suffering with mental health issues and supportive to physical issues.  Headlines from when Frank Bruno was sectioned caused outraged.  Yet the same newspaper published headlines supporting Kylie Minogue’s breast cancer fight!  Why treat a physical condition any differently to a mental health one?

 

Wouldn’t it be great if we could shake off the negativity we grew up with, not be afraid of ‘what ifs’ – ‘what if I ask xxx if they’re ok?’ ‘what if I call xxx to see how they’re doing whilst off work’… we can easily talk ourselves out of not caring because of ‘what ifs’.  Maybe we need to look at this a different way.  What if we do nothing? What world do we create?  What if the next person you hear of as being mentally unwell is someone you know?  What if it’s you?

 

Let’s get talking about mental health everyday.  Make it part of our DNA both at work – in team meetings etc and at home with family and friends.  What an amazing mentally healthy world we could create if we stopped being fearful and trusted our instinct to help.

 

Go on – you have the Green Light to Talk………. and to Listen!

 

 

The Baker’s Dozen Evaluation – Adult Mental Health First Aider Training

Last week saw the delivery of MHFAEngland’s latest version of their 2-day Adult training programme in Mental Health which qualifies delegates to be First Aiders in this critical area.

 

The robust manual – heavy but yet of interesting facts, figures, resources takes the fear out of the subject.  The interactive sections – Graffiti Wall, Anxiety Face, Stress Container and Depression T-Shirt were well received.  The films brought home the key points.

 

So, what did the 13 managers from the private sector think of giving up two days to do this course?

 

Almost an even split on the question ‘As a result of the training, I am less likely to judge people with mental health issues negatively’ – 7 strongly agreed.  The 6 remaining Agreed.  So – some hearts and minds were definitely changed!

 

‘As a result of this training, I am more likely to consider mental health and mental ill health a normal part of everyday life’ – bigger shift here – 10 strongly agreed and remaining three agreed.

 

‘How would you rate the MHFA course’? – 100% rated it top marks with’ Very Good’.

 

As the Instructor – I’m very pleased to see 100% of the delegates gave me top marks  of ‘Very Good’!

 

Some general comments included:

 

‘Excellent’!’

‘Really well delivered course.  Feel like I’ve learnt plenty to take away and implement’

‘The course and its delivery was excellent – thank you’.

‘Extremely useful – sharing tools and giving confidence’

‘Excellent course.   I would like to see it rolled out to all managers’

 

If you have a business and want to upskill your employees in the field of mental health, why not get in touch to discuss how?

Mental Health First Aid – Lite

Just been retained to deliver three workshops for 60 people in total for a global organisation with HQ in London.

 

With diverse backgrounds in the room, these should be an effective training sessions!

 

Lite is an introduction to the full Adult First Aid course.  It covers:

 

  1. Languages & Mental Health Issues
  2. What is Mental Health
  3. Mental Health Problems
  4. Supporting people in distress
  5. Managing our own well-being

 

Covering 3 hours, the course is designed to be a taster in understanding this complex subject.

Affirmation you are doing ok!…….

The best part of running Growing Talent is to see the growth in Associates on the journey.  So my favourite part is reading their evaluations at the end of the Orientation Week.

 

This is carried out prior to them going on site and is intended to boost self-esteem and give guidance on communication in the workplace etc.

 

So what did they learn?

‘I am positive in the eyes of others as well as myself’

‘That I still have the fight and strength within to achieve any goal I aim for’

‘I can be more confident than I thought I could be’

‘That I am capable of more’

‘I REALLY love recycling’

‘It’s ok to be afraid, it’s how you overcome that obstacle’

‘I can do it!’

‘I  learnt I am pretty well spoken and ow to be a little more confident’

‘I’m stronger than I thought’

‘Determination has set in’

‘I can do things I never thought possible’

‘Yes I can do anything with a bit of motivation’

‘It made me a better person and how to deal with things better’

‘I can meet new people and enjoy time spent with they’.

 

Having written and deliver Growing Talent, I’m not complacent to believe I do everything right.  I include a section on me as a trainer on the Associates end evaluation forms just to keep me on my toes and effective…… What did you think of Jane James, the trainer?

 

‘Great guide, really clear and helpful’

‘Hardworking, caring, 100% behind all of growing talent associates, very good at her role’

‘Jane is very helpful and insightful but also nice to talk to about anything that’s bothering us’

‘Very helpful and knowledgeable’

‘Brilliant, nurturing, encouraging – an amazing mentor’

‘Brilliant mentor and very inspiring’

‘Fantastic!’

‘Jane has been huge help and I feel very comfortable with telling her about any difficulties.  She has been very supportive’.

‘Lovely, strong, supporting lady.  Would love to be kept in contact with her for many years’.

‘A bundle of information, knowledge & strength’

‘Such an inspiration – amazing!’

 

It’s good to know from those we work with how we are doing.  Why not try giving those you work with an evaluation on you?

In Leah’s World…

Leah fell into Growing Talent as a Graduate in the Summer of 2015.  On Graduation she secured a work experience placement with JobCentre Plus.  She accompanied a JCP manager to the employer selection day to help out and ended up being interviewed and given a placement!

 

During her employment journey she has gone from receptionist to managing a multi-client building to running events and now manages two staff in delivering monthly newsletters, facts, challenges on a different subject in the world of mental health to 6 partner companies!

 

More importantly on a personal level she had never been abroad before.  Since the Summer of 2015 when she joined Growing Talent she has been to Italy, France, Spain & Portugal – three times!

 

The power of working!

 

Remember opportunities can come from unexpected events…………

Holistic Week – Growing Talent…..

This is the ‘soft skills’ section of Growing Talent’s 12 week programme.  Usually carried out halfway through.  It’s a time for the Growing Talent Associates to meet up again and encourage each other face-to-face as well as learn some wellbeing techniques and ‘kick back’ a little from their usual work timetable!

 

We returned to Southwark Cathedral were we held the Orientation Week back in early February!  At least no more presentations before senior managers!

So what did we cover?:

Monday – parts 1 & s of Mental Health First Aid – a global course resulting in a qualification as a MHFAider.  This is an intense four part global programme so we lightened the learning a little with Lesley’s 3Rs!

 

Lesley, seen above, is part of the Health & Safety team at PwC.  Her 3Rs are Refuel, Recycle and  Refresh. It’s all about what to eat, how much sleep, exercise all the usual things we need to consider when making choices.  It’s especially difficult doing this on a strict budget!

‘I got a lot of information which I’ll put into practice!’ ‘Another important segment that allowed growth within the unknown.’

Tuesday – saw parts 3 and 4 of the MHFA programme be completed.  This time, Healthy Bites  Nutrition was sandwiched  between the two sections.  This invaluable workshop by Kate from HBN (www.hbnutrition.org) dispels myths around diets, the latest fads and new guidelines – such as only 7 tsp of sugar a day.  Kate shares the cost savings in making your own food, cost comparison and ingredients as well as how to eat quickly prepared nutritious meals on a budget!

 

Kate below preparing the Associates for making their own Pot Noodle!

 

A good workshop for sustaining health both in and out of work” ” I know what food groups are now!’

 

Sharing why recycling waste is so important was Dan from Suez, on the left below, on Wednesday.  This got everyone thinking.  A quick roundtable showed the difference between residential recycling across boroughs.  Indeed one of the Associates who has never recycled was inspired to go through her bins!

 

 

Thursday we talked finance.  Covering the basics we should know around debt, regular payments budgets, and so on. It’s surprising how well received this workshop is but on reflection maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising.  After all, where do you learn this stuff if you don’t have supportive, informed parents? Does the Education system have the time to do this?

 

‘The 3 x thirds will be really useful’, ‘I learnt about saving money and ISAs – really useful when we start earning’, ‘this was the most important topic covered for me’ ‘I learnt how to plan ahead’ ‘One million % worth it.  I understand now how to be financially stable.’

In the afternoon it was off to do an Art project!  Terrifying for some!  Their task was to visit Tate Gallery in Bankside and select an item that ‘spoke’ to them.  This could be in a good or bad way.

 

Left to right above inside the Tate are Mokhtar, Leon, Zainab, Ilamathy, Stefan, Ashley, Sebastien & John.

 

Friday morning we had a good discussion on their visit to the Tate, why they selected their piece of art and what they would ask the artist……… then they had to draw it!  You can see the results in the feature photo.  So much laughter in the room.  For some it ignited a childhood love of drawing for others it opened their eyes to a possible new creative way to feed their soul during lunchtime break and outside of work.

 

After some paperwork we finished up the week at lunchtime.They guys presented me with a lovely gift before going home for a well deserved break!

 

On Monday they returned to their employer sites:  Zainab, Ashley & Mokhtar – Harrow Green, Craig, John & Ashling – Iron Mountain – Ashling had to work this week, Leon – Pertemps, Ilamathy – Red Personnel, Stefan – Mitie Connect and Sebastien at Invest In Buy To Let.

 

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