Amy Erith – Thriving Workplace
Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu famously mused, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” This age-old truth was re-enforced when I recently met with Amy Erith from the aptly named Devon-based mental health charity Step One.
Born and raised in Exeter, Amy has encountered her fair share of mental ill health, having a breakdown at the age of just eighteen which meant that she found it difficult to leave the house for over six months and struggled with severe anxiety and panic attacks.
Entering the world of work, she found her professional home in training and teaching roles and eventually taught at Exeter College as a Business Lecturer for five years. It was in September of last year that she started in her new role at Step One (formerly St Loyes Foundation), a Devon-based charity founded in 1937 who support people with disabilities and mental health issues and enable them to take control of their future and fulfil their potential.
Amy works for Step One’s Thriving Workplace Project which provides mental health first aid training, helping employers to promote wellbeing cultures within their businesses.
“Mental health first aiders and champions don’t have to be senior within a business. They simply have to be people who are approachable, available and who have their ‘mental health radar’ switched on.”
“It’s amazing how many people will open up even in the context of a training session. People really aren’t that resistant to talking about their mental health or, at least, certainly not as much as they used to be. My own experiences of mental health inform my approach and my style of training others.”
All signs point to the need for more compassionate and caring workplaces and it is people like Amy Erith who are going to help us all get there, one step at a time.
To find out more, visit www.steponecharity.co.uk or call 01392 255428
Written by Joff Alexander-Frye
Photos supplied by Amy Erith