World Mental Health Day with Simone

Friday, 9 June 2023

Meet Simone, one of our mental health first aiders.

World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health. That is why here at West Midlands Railway we have a dedicated team of Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) who are on hand to offer support and guidance to our teams across the network.

Today, we caught up with Station Manager, Simone, on her experience as a Mental Health First Aider and what advice she would pass on to others.

Simone Carter - mental health first aider

Why did you choose to become a Mental Health First Aider?

My reason for becoming a MHFA was to provide an empathetic friendly point of contact for anyone who is struggling and needs assistance. I wanted to be someone who is there to listen to others, not judge them, and help guide them to getting the right help and support they need.

Can you tell us about a time you have helped someone with their mental health?

There have been various occasions where I’ve helped someone with their mental health. I believe it is vital to provide emotional support and to encourage and support people to seek the right kind of help. I have found that if you haven't experienced a mental health problem that it can be difficult to understand what it's like and what that person is experiencing. It’s important to have patience and to ask them to try and explain - bearing in mind that it isn't always easy to describe how or what you are going through.

What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with their mental health?

My advice would be to talk to someone, whether it’s a family member, a friend, your GP or in West Midlands Railway’s instance, a MHFA. Tackling mental health problems isn’t something you have to go through alone; seeking help is often the first step towards getting and staying well, but it can be hard to know how to start or where to turn to. It's perfectly common to feel unsure and to wonder whether you should try to handle things on your own.

If you are someone or know someone who is struggling with their mental health, you can contact the Samaritans charity who provide emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or are at risk of suicide in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.