Supporting mental health within the team

Hear from AAH employee and company Mental Health First Aider, Joshua, about the importance of looking after mental health within the workplace.

Joshua Biksas is a Fleet Technical Support Coordinator and Transport Auditor at pharmaceutical wholesaler and Pharmacist Support Charity Partner, AAH. To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, he shares with us how AAH has fostered a culture of being open about mental health and his role in supporting colleagues

I’m a Mental Health First Aider for AAH. My role is to be there to support any colleagues that are suffering from poor or critical mental health and need support. This could be urgent or day-to-day support for poor mental health.  

I became a Mental Health First Aider because throughout the years of my working life, I noticed there was never any direct support for people suffering with their mental wellbeing. Additionally, many of my family and friends have suffered with poor mental health in the past and I’ve never been able to help. It’s just something I wanted to change so, when there was an opportunity to take part in the 6-week course, I jumped at the chance. I believe understanding how to look after our mental health is something that everybody should learn, like first aiding! 

We’ve made sure that it’s really easy for me to be accessible, so colleagues all have details of my contact information in case they need to reach out. I can support them through email, text, over the phone and on Teams, or if they’re more comfortable with meeting and discussing any face to face, I can do that too. Of course, any help my colleagues receive is completely confidential and I love being able to support my colleagues.  

Being open about mental health is important because it allows people to reach out if they are suffering. In turn, it gives the confidence for people around them who may also be suffering to reach out to get the help that they need. We also foster a culture of openness within the teams, and I know I can discuss anything in my regular 121s with my line manager or through our annual employee survey.  

For me, it’s important to look after my mental wellbeing outside of work too. I’m quite an active person so playing sport and running definitely helps. It’s proven that exercise is good for the mind, and I believe the social aspect of participation in sports teams is also great for mental health.   

If you’re a pharmacy manager or leader, or an aspiring manager, and looking to make a positive impact on your team and workplace environment, check out our new course: Embracing a Workplace Wellbeing Culture

Find out more about our charity partnership with AAH. 

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