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WorkPride Panel: The continued benefits of having mental first aiders in your business

A mental health aider specializes in training employees on how to identify  signs of mental and emotional distress as well as what strategies to use to obtain the required help, potentially avoiding or limiting sickness and absences in the process. 

Mental health aiders are essential to not only keeping the business up and running, but also to make your employees feel that they are truly valued and care for. The latter is especially important for members of the LGBTQ+ community, who might have suffered neglect and prejudice in the outside world. This panel will explore how mental health first aiders can be an integral part in retaining top talent and embracing people from different groups and communities. 

In Partnership With


  • M
    Chris Edwards  (MENTOR)
    Chris Edwards (MENTOR)
    CSR & Diversity Director
    Travers Smith
    Happy to be contacted for LGBT related career advice and support
  • Simon Blake OBE
    Simon Blake OBE
    Chief Executive
    Mental Health First Aid England
    I am committed to social justice and equity with over 20 years senior level experience in the social sector. I am CEO of social enterprise, MHFA England and deputy Chair of Stonewall. Prior to joining MHFA England I was CEO at National Union of Students, and before that Brook, the young people's sexual health charity. I worked at the National Children's Bureau from 1999 - 2006 across all areas of children's and young people's health and wellbeing. I am a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute, a member of the Institute of Directors and was awarded an OBE for services to the voluntary sector and young people in 2011. I was Chair of Diversity Role Models from 2012 - 2015, and a trustee of the Black Health Agency from 2005 - 2010,
  • Francisco Gallego
    Francisco Gallego
    Global Inclusion & Diversity Manager
    Expedia Group
    Welcome to my profile! I seek impactful ways to foster inclusion & diversity in my organization. I have served at Expedia's ERG Pride as their Global President (1.6k members) and managed a team of 9 global chairs and 38 chapter leads. I am a certified Mental Health First Aider and believe more conversations around mental health are necessary in the workplace. I am happy to chat about DEI or any topic related to the future of organizations. Thanks for checking my profile, I'm always happy to connect. Francisco
  • Carole Mehigan
    Carole Mehigan
    Responsible Business Manager
    Reed Smith LLP
    My name is Carole Mehigan and I am the Responsible Business Manager for EMEA at Reed Smith. I manage all our community outreach projects focussed on vulnerable areas of the community, D,E & I programmes focussed on young people of all ages and our larger fundraising initiatives. I also help with our internal D,E & I focusses with a particular interest in mental health. I am a mental health first aider and a first aider at work for the firm.
  • Cariad Kenan
    Cariad Kenan
    Head of Learning & Development
    Origanally fom South African, I work as Head of Learning & Development at Rapport Guest Services. I am fortunate to have worked in many well known, diverse and customer centric 5 star hotels in London which have fueled my passion for service and working with people from all corners of the world. My team and I, are proud allys and one of our focus areas is to raise awareness of all aspects of D&I , though suppprt, training and education, to further embed an incusive and progressive culture, making Rapport an employer of choice.
  • Troy Kelly
    Troy Kelly
    Account Manager
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