Inside emap: A closer look at the MHFA Team

Tom Lacey avatar

Good mental health in the workplace is key to any organisation. Back in 2020, we set up our emap Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Team, with the aim of being able to support our employees with any issues they might have. We sat down with the Mental Health First Aid Team and had a chat with them to help you understand who they are and what they do.

What is the MHFA Team and what do you do?
The MHFA Team are in place to support all members of our staff for all issues of Mental Health and emotional wellbeing with an emphasis on listening in a non-judgemental, empathic manner and providing that service in a confidential environment.  Wherever possible and appropriate, we will signpost employee queries to the most appropriate dedicated charitable organisation.

Who’s in the MFHA Team?
Currently, we have Brian Guild, Mark Mears and Brenda Cobb in the Team – all experienced and fully qualified Mental Health First Aiders.

You mentioned raising money for charity, what have you done in the past?
In 2022 the MFHA team were feeling extremely brave and decided to walk on fire (literally!), and on a chilly November evening in Broadwalk Circle, we all braved the red hot embers, strutted our stuff, and we were delighted to raise a fantastic sum of money for the Samaritans and local Hackney based children’s charity, Weavers Adventure Playground. This enabled Weavers to open on Christmas day to provide hot meals and give presents to the local children for the first time in their history, something we are proud to be part of. In 2023 on what the Met office declared to be the hottest day of the year the MHFA Team, plus friends, achieved a monumental 27km walk, starting at Mortlake and finishing with a well-earned drink at Blackfriars Bridge. In doing so we were extremely proud to raise more than £4000 for the British Heart Foundation and had a lot of fun along the (very long) way.

Have you got any charity events planned for 2024?
Yes, in September this year, we are extremely excited to be taking on a 40k Urban Triathlon starting at our Ealing office and ending up at the Fleet Street office via Hyde Park. Should anyone be interested in joining us (all open water swimmers are especially welcome!) please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

How do staff utilise the MHFA Team?
We have been approached by a number of our staff via various channels, including email, face to face, telephone and Teams for a host of matters mental health related.  We have also had employees share their own individual experiences through the open forum on our Virtual Mental Health Roadshow which we will be running again in 2024.

We hope that’s helped shed a little bit of light on who the Mental Health First Aid Team are and how our staff can utilise them. Just have a look out for their faces around the offices and say hello!

Tom Lacey avatar