During his recent trip down to the Crucial FX Origin experience, James took himself off to a quiet corner to speak to Jenner Carter, the head of marketing at Lime Venue Portfolio and the marketing chair for the industry association, HBAA.
Jenner described her passion for improving mental health within the industry and explained what mental health first aid is all about. Offering examples of her own experience with ill mental health, both in her personal and professional life, Jenner informed James that the HBAA first introduced the course to her.
The mental health first aid course teaches participants how to offer help and support to people experiencing “a crisis”. Describing it as similar to a physical first aid course, Jenner revealed that mental health is different in regard to recognising symptoms: “It’s difficult to spot the signs of [poor mental health] but this course helps you spot the signs then signpost people off to the relevant places to get help.”
Having been on the course, Jenner is now a mental health first aider. Talking about this, Jenner informed James that one of the things she learnt was the ALGEE model:
Touching on the stigma of mental health, Jenner stated there is a definite “misunderstanding’ surrounding the topic. However, thanks to recent media coverage, there is growing support for people who need help.
Relating mental health to the events industry, James asked about the relationship between stress and ill mental health: “People may think they are just suffering from stress and not recognise they are ill.” Agreeing with this, Jenner stated that those who suffer from prolonged symptoms of poor mental health need access to support.
Everyone is different in terms of their ability to cope with, and release, stress. Making lists, eating chocolate or going for a run are all ways of winding down and releasing the day’s stresses. It is important for our overall mental health that we each find and practise ways to de-stress after each day.
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