In the final instalment of our Guest Author articles for Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to ask Trustee, Adrienne Kelbie, to look internally, at the CareTech Foundation. What she offers is a personal reflection on our Staff Hardship Fund.
We all feel for someone who breaks a leg or has a heart attack. But how much empathy – really -do we show for people facing a mental health issue. Hmmm….
Mental Health Awareness Week is a fantastic initiative, because it helps us as individuals, teams and organisations reflect on unconscious, or even conscious, bias. It’s a great week of visible role modelling, discussion and energy about something that can take its toll on people every day. Often completely unchecked. Imagine how isolated you would feel if you had a heart attack and didn’t feel you could tell anyone. Or imagine, if you did, and they didn’t show they cared.
This is serious. Mental health issues affect one in four of us at some point in our life. That’s 450 million people.
This is why we’re so committed to bringing mental health out of the cold, dark, isolation and into the warmth of an organisation that shines a light for each other. With awareness and understanding, we can make a meaningful impact on each other – and on ourselves. I never knew how awful grief could feel until I lost my beloved father in 2017. I was just not myself some days. I was fortunate to have colleagues who told me it was ok to be ‘not ok’ and who helped me through a very dark period. I am enormously grateful for the helpful and caring attitude of my employer who helped me though it.
With our colleagues at CareTech Holdings plc, CareTech Foundation recognises our sector is particularly affected by mental health and wellbeing issues. So we’ve set up our hardship fund to give colleagues and former colleagues somewhere to turn if they find themselves in need.
The Foundation receives a restricted donation from CareTech Holdings plc to enable us to provide small grants to CareTech Holdings plc staff and those who may recently have left the company who find themselves in significant financial hardship or at serious risk of becoming in significant financial hardship. We are committed that no care worker should be pushed to desperation and help will always be available for those in hardship.
So I hope you will join me in doing just one simple thing, every day. Asking ‘how are you’ and really, really listening. Sometimes we’re not ok, and that’s when we need each other to stop and support us. Just as if we had a physical condition…
To find out more about Adrienne, please visit her Trustee profile page – https://www.caretechfoundation.org.uk/trustees/adrienne-kelbie/
To find out more about the Staff Hardship Fund, please visit – https://www.caretechfoundation.org.uk/staff-hardship-fund/