Renfrewshire Council

"Let's Talk" Staff wellbeing blog: Moya's story

Senior community support officer, Moya Garner, tells us why she became a Mental Health First Aider.

Our wellbeing page header "Like so many people, my role has changed a lot since the start of the pandemic. During my 11 years at the council, I've never seen so much change take place so quickly. I used to lead the Statutory Support Team who assist with important meetings in adult's and children's services. Now I lead the team who help ensure our care staff have access to daily Lateral Flow and weekly PCR COVID-19 tests. 


"I noticed that all this change was starting to impact people's mental health and I wanted to help in any way I could.

"I think there is confusion and a lot of myths about mental health and that means people can be afraid or even ashamed to ask for help.

"I also know how important it is to get support at work.  So, when I saw the opportunity to become a Mental Health First Aider, I was keen to give it a go.

"The training was eye-opening. I learned that everyone has mental health and there is a difference between mental health and mental illness. Your mental health can feel different from one day to the next. Sometimes you can feel on top of everything; then the next day you might feel low. This is normal! It doesn't necessarily mean you have a mental illness.

"Making sure we don't bottle everything up; we get support and know how to look after our mental health can help prevent a mental illness developing.

"There should be no stigma around mental health. I want every staff member across the council to know there is someone here willing to listen. As a trained Mental Health First Aider, I am here to help you find the right support if you need it. I'm also here to listen to you. Sometimes, a simple friendly chat with someone who isn't involved in your problems can be just what you need."

Published on Wednesday 2 February 2022