I have now been working at Harmless for 6 months. I’m not quite sure where the time has gone, but I am loving every minute of it and would not change it for the world.
My role has been extremely varied, intense, exciting, emotive, nerve wracking etc.
Within this time I have been so fortunate to experience going to lots of conferences, and meeting so many influential, inspirational and friendly individuals from around the country. I have delivered training on self harm, mental health and suicide awareness. I’ve travelled to new places around the country, with travelling being something I love, so this is an added bonus for me.
I really enjoy attending conferences and delivering training in a range of localities as it provides a fantastic opportunity to network, meet people from a range of organisations around the country and share best practice. Being able to share information about Harmless and the work we do makes me extremely proud to be a part of it.
As part of my role, I have also been managing the training bookings and I can honestly say, every time a booking is secured, the feeling of achievement and positivity I get, never wears off. The reason for this is that I know the money raised from these confirmed bookings is going towards helping individuals in distress and is saving lives. It also means we are raising awareness on a range of subject matters, reducing stigma and discrimination and equipping professionals and communities to respond effectively to self harm, mental health and suicide.
One of the biggest impacts for me is having strangers open up and share how they are feeling, once they know the work I do. I have had friends approach me saying they have had thoughts of suicide or a family member has a mental health condition or they self harm and that they find it really tough. I have had taxi drivers in London engage in deep conversation about suicide and share with me that they’re finding things really difficult at present and they’re not sure how they will cope going forward. Knowing I can make a difference by taking the time to engage with these individuals really gives me hope, that as a society, we are becoming more aware of self harm, mental health and suicide and we have the confidence, to talk openly, with strangers. Also, if during the few minutes I was able to listen and connect with these individuals, give them that time to verbalise their feelings, recognise they were struggling and actually just share with someone and gain information on who they can get support from, this was time well spent.
I was also involved in our annual event preparation, which meant getting prize donations, selling raffle tickets, selling tickets and general preparation on this. The event was a big success and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. It was an emotive, funny, entertaining social occasion, where again, there was the opportunity to meet lots of people.
Overall, my first 6 months at Harmless have been exceptionally positive and rewarding. There have been ups and downs during this time, as you would expect in this profession. We are committed to changing lives and providing hope to those in distress as well as their families, friends carers etc. Because we are so passionate about the work we do, when we do experience these ‘down’ moments, it has a huge impact on us emotionally. As a member of the Harmless team, I found I have been well supported through these upsetting times and we work together to pick each other up and move forward to continue to fight even harder to make a difference.