Nikita reveals what it is like to work as an Infoline Advisor and what makes the job so worthwhile.
I've seen people close to me experience mental health; friends who have been through challenging times and suffered with post-natal depression. There's nothing more distressing than seeing people that you care so much about battle their own minds.
That’s why my work as a Mind Infoline Advisor is so important. There has always been a stigma attached to mental health but I think we have seen that starting to break down in the last three years.
I love being a part of something that helps people understand mental health and how someone may be feeling.
Of course, when I first started there was a lot to learn. Starting something new is always challenging to begin with. I had to find out about various mental health problems, the services available and managing calls. As an advisor, you need to be mindful of your tone of voice and even the way you breathe. You don’t want to sound as if you are huffing impatiently down the phone!
My average day involves answering calls which can vary depending on what's in the media, what an individual is experiencing and with what's happening within legislation and benefits. Some people find it difficult to start a conversation on the phone. They might have a phone phobia, have small children at home or be in work or at college which makes it difficult to talk. So it really does benefit our callers that we’re a multi-channel helpline which means we work on texts, emails and webchat.
I’m also a Welsh speaker and I took the line’s first ever call in Welsh! We also team up with a language line which can translate our advice into many languages including Bengali, Polish and others.
Generally, we receive a lot of calls from family members looking for support and people contact us about their own depression, anxiety and workplace stress. Many people just don’t know where to start or what they are entitled to. Because the system is constantly changing, we also get a number of calls about benefits.
We're able to provide advice, information and we also signpost to other services. We often signpost to the local Minds that are dotted around England and Wales and they provide a wide range of services. We can also signpost to services in the area through different organisations.
We often hear from people who feel misunderstood; people who feel they don't have anyone they can talk to about their thoughts and feelings. Elefriends is our online community and it’s a safe place to share how you feel and talk to people who understand. There aren't any malicious comments as it's something Mind always monitors closely.
I have worked on the line for three years and the length of time I have worked on the Infoline speaks volumes. Obviously, we all have challenging days where you receive a higher degree of emotional callers but I can speak on behalf of everyone who works here that what makes the job worthwhile is feeling that we are helping someone. Knowing we can make a difference in someone's journey to recovery is something to treasure.