Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience some form of mental health problem each year. Thankfully the stigma associated with mental health is lifting, as people begin to talk more openly about the troubles they are facing. However, we still need to do all we can to encourage those who need help to come forward. 

Danielle Nash began working as the Employee Liaison Officer for We Fight Any Claim (WFAC) in February 2017. We sat down with her this week to discuss the importance of her role, and how she can help members of staff who may be struggling with their mental health.

What is your role?

I have a number of behind the scenes roles, but my main focus is on staff well-being. I am on hand to offer help and support to those who want it. Whether that is by simply talking through their problems with them or giving them somewhere to escape the noise for five minutes when things get too much for them. 

I can now refer staff members who are battling  with  depression, anxiety, stress or any other mental health issues to a scheme called Remploy. There they can receive a free and confidential mental health support service which can help ensure the difficulties they are facing in their personal life do not spill over and lead to them needing time off work. 

In house I can provide weekly meetings with staff who are finding things hard to deal with. If things get really bad for them, then I can arrange to have daily catch ups to talk through their problems in a relaxed and confidential environment.

I also work alongside Marketing to promote the Chorltons Members Club, which gives our staff access to local gyms and fitness facilities. We believe that practising a healthy lifestyle can have a positive effect on your mental health and our staff benefits packages help to support this.

Why do you think your role is so important in a place like WFAC?

The working environment here is fast paced and full of energy, which is great when you’re on your game, but can be hard to deal with when you have other things going on in the background. It can be pressured, but the rejection you can face from customers can also take its toll on staff. 

Additionally, I think the age range of our employees is another factor that plays a part in the importance of my role. Young adults go through a number of big life changes that can be hard to deal with; moving out, paying bills, relationships, new babies. Whilst it can be exciting, it can also be, at times, hard to deal with. 

You took a course for mental health, how was that?

Yes, I am now a trained mental health first aider! The course gave me the opportunity to look into many different types of mental health. Anxiety and depression are being spoken about more now, but there are so many other issues. I learnt about the symptoms that people living with mental health will be dealing with day to day. I was taught how to spot signs of mental health problems and how to approach the subject sensitively. The course also taught me how to help the person who is suffering with mental health issues through various coping strategies that I can pass on. 

We also did exercises to try and help us understand what it might feel like to be living with mental health issues. For example, we tried to hold a conversation with someone  speaking  in our ears, so we could appreciate what it would be like for someone suffering with schizophrenia.

Do you think attitudes are changing towards mental health?

As a whole I think attitudes towards mental health are changing, and that’s having a positive effect on the way we deal with these issues in work. 

When you have celebrities taking to social media to discuss about their own problems, it gets rid of the stigma attached to talking about your problems. 

Love Island’s Chris Hughes is the face of a new campaign which encourages young men to talk about their feelings. Our marketing team also recently had an interview with local lad Aaron Corria, who launched his own website ‘Brotectors’ to support young men after his own experiences with mental health. I think all this is great to encourage guys to open up more, which is something they may not feel totally comfortable in doing.

I think the fact that my role was created shows the stance that is being taken by We Fight Any Claim. The attitude towards mental health at work has improved even in the short while I have been in the role, so I am really hopeful for the direction we are heading in! 

What advice can you give to our staff who may be suffering with metal health issues?

Talk about it. Don’t be ashamed, don’t bottle it up. We all go through it at some point in our lives. Whether its anxiety, depression, an eating disorder…everyone is dealing with their own issues. You are not alone. I am here to talk to anyone, so come and see me!

If you feel like you are struggling to cope, or simply need someone to talk to, you can catch Danielle around the building.