Hi, I’m Julie and I’m an HRP Consultant in the Professional Services team here at Embridge Consulting.
I live in the valleys in South Wales, having moved to Wales 20 years ago from London. I met and married Michael and outside of work I live a quiet life these days, gardening, walking, travelling around the UK, I’ll go anywhere to see a good bridge, especially if a canal boat holiday is involved! I do like to travel abroad but haven’t done that for a few years.
I am a step mum to Zoe and Adam and through them have 10 grandchildren. I have three siblings and loads of nieces and nephews, many of whom I am also a Nana to, they frequently visit us and have even been known to camp in our garden. I have family in Dorset and any given chance will get there to go walking with them.
As many of you will know, I bake and I love people to sample my cakes, I have recently started decorating the cakes, which is proving popular for children’s birthdays.
The Embridge family and me
I have been with Embridge for nearly two years now, I am a part of Professional Services and a member of the HRP Team.
I have met many friends and colleagues across the company, some since I joined Embridge and some previously through Unit4 or projects I worked on, where they were also consulting, or even the customer. I am quite outgoing and try to make people feel comfortable and that I am approachable, I will always try to help anyone. I hope my friends and colleagues feel they can talk to me openly and confidentially, about anything.
Embridge Consulting is extremely supportive of our well-being, encouraging us to ensure our work life balance is maintained, offering improved health care and now investing in wellbeing and mental health awareness. Our mental wellbeing is as important as our physical and more and more these days, we hear about mental health, it’s no longer taboo, and we should talk about it. I think the pandemic highlighted this even more so, and people had to adjust so quickly to working remotely and this can be isolating.
It’s three years since I physically met with a customer. Luckily now we have quarterly team meetings I manage to meet with my colleagues face to face and it’s something I feel is so important for our mental health, we are human beings, we need physical contact, not just an on-line presence.
Why did I volunteer to become a Mental Health First Aider?
I have been a Mental Health First Aider for three years now and have recently refreshed my skills.
I have experienced mental health challenges myself in the past, and I believe that most people have a story to tell, something going on that causes them anxiety or pressure of some sort, nowadays I can recognise when this is happening to me and, just as I would take Echinacea when I feel a cold coming on, if I feel my mental health starting to suffer, I seek help. This can be a chat with a friend or colleague, or if I ever felt necessary, I would have no issue in seeking professional help.
I do have other coping mechanisms, like my daily walks and mindfulness but, importantly, I am not afraid to speak with someone, to tell them I need help, to tell them I have anxiety, or a low mood.
I am allowed not to be ok, and I am allowed to talk about it – and so are you! I want anyone to feel that they can talk to me, to feel that I can help them.
Many colleagues, friends and family have approached me, I am always ready with a cuppa, and of course a cake, and most importantly time to listen. Recognising we need to seek help is the beginning of getting better!
We all have mental health – it’s not a condition, it’s a part of us, it makes us human and sometimes it’s just not so good (like getting a cold or cutting your finger, its needs attention and TLC). By becoming a Mental Health First Aider I am equipped with the personal tools to be able to listen, talk, help and to guide people to seek professional help if required.
We are not here to advise, but sometimes just someone listening to you is all the help you need.