Life as… a Mental Health First Aider

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Katie Rigg – Implementation Manager at Mercedes-Benz Vans and Mental Health First Aider talks wellbeing at work

My role is…

“I recently started a new role with Mercedes-Benz Vans as an Implementation Manager within the Retail Transformation project team. In my role, I am responsible for supporting any transformational workstreams connected to changing how we do business with our customers, internally and at our head office. I have worked at Mercedes-Benz UK for the past 11 years, most recently moving across to Vans from Network Operations in Mercedes-Benz Cars.”

My day consists of…

“Wellbeing and a good work-life balance is really important to me, so on the days when I’m working from home, I always take the dog out for a walk first thing. I use this time to plan the day ahead, check my diary for meetings and scan my emails in case anything urgent has come in. It’s also a really good way to reset and clear my mind or if I need to do some creative thinking. In a project environment, things are fast moving and priorities often change, so organisation and flexibility is key. My role often involves gathering information, planning, problem solving, decision making, updating project stakeholders/sponsors and collaborating with colleagues within Vans and the wider Mercedes-Benz businesses and our dealer network.”

What do you love about your job?

“I love working for a company that is innovative and committed to delivering solutions that excite and inspire our customers’ expectations of the brand and our products. We are actively encouraged to challenge the status quo, connect with our customers to find out what they really want/need and to put forward our ideas within the key focus areas of the Vans UK business. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced colleagues with a clear vision, steered and supported by our leadership team and that’s a great environment within which to learn and grow.”

Why did you become a Mental Health First Aider?

“I became a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) nearly two years ago during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our HR team wanted to recruit a number of colleagues across the different UK entities prior to launching the MHFA initiative at Mercedes-Benz. I have struggled with my own mental health in the past, so getting involved in our wellbeing programme at Mercedes-Benz was an opportunity to help raise awareness and understanding around mental health and draw on my own experience to encourage others to reach out and seek support.”

What do you enjoy most about being a MHFA?

“I’m passionate about supporting my colleagues and cultivating an environment where mental health can be openly discussed within the workplace without fear of stigma, losing respect or damage to a person’s progression. Sadly, I think these are often reasons why people keep their struggles to themselves within a corporate environment and I’m committed to changing this. I firmly believe that we should never underestimate the power of talking and sharing, so never be afraid to reach out, not only for yourself but for others you work with.”

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