When people are struggling with mental health issues at work, they want to be able to open up and ask for help. The people who work to facilitate HAVACHAT conversations are people with experience of mental health and are best positioned to help people with potential mental health issues. The people with experience of mental health hold a minimum qualification of Mental Health First Aid.

The people with experience of mental health hold unique insights into how to best respond to the mental health needs of people with possible mental health issues and promote recovery. Because people with experience of mental health understand the intricacies, sophistications and complexities of mental health and how to respond to people with mental health, they can help employees break down the taboo of talking about mental illness at work and help the employee feel safe talking.

Further people with experience of mental health know how to respond to ‘at risk of harm’ mental health issues. People with experience of mental health take notice of people who may be ‘risk of harm’ from a mental health issue, offering a helping hand, and saying “I’m here, I have your back, you are not alone”. It makes all the difference for a person who may be experiencing an acute mental health issue when someone ‘gets it’. If someone is in trouble and needs help, people with experience of mental health can assist by applying principles of Mental Health First Aid . When people are experiencing hidden challenges people with experience of mental health can give guidance to the employee about ‘what is coming next’ and ‘what to expect’.

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