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Mental Health First Aid: challenging stigma and promoting early intervention

Rory Dear, DSL’s Managing Director, is on a mission to encourage a culture where it is acceptable to talk about, and seek support for, poor mental health. In his latest blog he talks openly about his own mental health and how he became a Mental Health First-Aider.


Lonely? Frustrated? Anxious? You’re not alone. Genuinely. You are not alone.

A recent survey by the Royal Society for Public Health on the health impacts of home working during Covid-19 revealed that working from home is having a negative impact on people’s mental health.

67% of respondents said they felt less connected to their colleagues and more than half said they found it harder to switch off. Most surprising however, was that only a third of respondents had been offered support with their mental health from their employer.

Having realised my own mental health is not as bullet-proof as I had once perceived during this devastating pandemic, I was motivated to learn more to be able to better support the DSL team, and others who may be suffering.

I took a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course, and it was a real eye-opener. Prevention and early intervention can be crucial, as can normalising the mental illness conditions which touch millions of ordinary people. I feel infinitely better prepared to help both myself and others should they ever need it and I would like mental health to be openly discussed and supported within DSL.

If there’s one positive to come out of this pandemic, it’s an increased openness in talking about mental health so my (virtual or otherwise) door is always open for anyone, anywhere – if I can directly help with this new knowledge, or simply be someone to talk to, please get in touch.

“We all have mental health. Better mental health is good for everyone and recognising this is good for society.” – MHFA

“We want a society where everyone can thrive. We believe in zero stigma surrounding mental health. We want mental health to be openly discussed and supported.” – MHFA