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A recently trained mental health first aider who works for a housing developer in Norfolk has emphasised the importance of open discussions about mental health for Time to Talk Day (1st February).

Time to Talk Day, organised by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, is designed to encourage conversations that can make a significant impacts on mental health.

William Newman, a 25-year-old Quantity Surveyor who works at Barratt and David Wilson Homes’ regional office in Norwich, has shared his journey into recently becoming a mental health first aider and the positive impact it has already had on both his personal and professional life.

He said: “I left a previous job which never promoted training like this, and my partner and I have always struggled with mental health. I thought it would benefit both of us if I understood more about mental health.”

The training, organised by Barratt and David Wilson Homes, took place over two days and covered a range of topics.

William added: “The training was very informative and gave a deep insight into how delicate mental health can be for everyone. Much of the training was listening and understanding, with engaging activities to keep participants involved.

“I think it doesn’t get talked about enough, but over recent years it’s become a hotter topic. It affects everyone, but there can be some very simple things you can do to stop it boiling over and getting too much.”

Explaining the newfound understanding gained from the training, William said: “Everyone has a stress container which has a different capacity, and everyone also has a stress tap which can be turned on and off by different activities. It’s so important to manage your stress to ensure your container doesn’t overflow. Everyone should understand that certain things affect people’s stress levels differently.”

Being a part of a team with the responsibility to aid colleagues in mental health matters, William has acknowledged the occasional challenges but emphasised that the training provided valuable tools to alleviate the pressure.

He said: “With more people being trained up as mental health first aiders within our company, it is helping to spread the responsibility. It also needs to be taken lightly in terms of something as basic as asking how someone is doing, or if they need to talk.”

In the context of the construction sector, William is highlighting the crucial role of mental health awareness.

He continued: “With some of the statistics that are thrown around regarding the state of mental health in men, and construction being heavily dominated by men, it’s invaluable to be able to help colleagues suffering with their mental health.”

When asked if he would encourage others to become mental health first aiders, William added: “Yes, 100%. Being able to help people in need is always a great reason to be trained, but it also helps with your own mental health.”

To learn more about the career opportunities available with Barratt and David Wilson Homes, visit the website at Barratt Careers.

For more information about any developments, visit the websites at Barratt Homes in Norfolk and David Wilson Homes in Norfolk.