At Time to Change Wales, we are always on the lookout for new ways for our Champions to help challenge mental health stigma and discrimination. So, when Natalie, one of our longstanding Champions and Wellbeing Lead at one of our Pledged Organisations, Companies House, reached out to us with an innovative idea, we were very pleased to help!
5 of our Champions took part in 12 role-play conversations with members of Companies House’s Mental Health Network. Each Champion was given a scenario that matched the Network Member’s role as either a Mental Health Advocate or Mental Health First Aider. Our Champions proved to be brilliant actors, drawing on their own experiences to deliver realistic conversation based on the scenario given and the Network Members provided support and signposting accordingly.
“As an Organisation, we want to improve the skills of our Mental Health Network Members and empower them to become more confident and proficient in their support of colleagues, who reach out for help” – Companies House
Champions were then able to feedback both verbally and via a feedback form on how they felt the conversation went e.g., did the person listen in a non-judgemental way and give appropriate signposting and support? This activity worked really well and provided Network Members the practice and the confidence they were hoping for. Listening in on the conversations it was very clear that staff at Companies House had received good training as they were asking the right sort of questions, showing empathy and understanding, listening in a non-judgemental way and signposting to both internal and external networks which was brilliant. Each of our Champions was very impressed at how each Advocate and First Aider handled the situation, as well as all the support that is available to staff at Companies House. Everyone involved enjoyed the activity and found it useful, so we certainly hope to explore doing the same again in the future.