Rachel Grant

Rachel Grant

I work in the programmes team at the Mental Health Foundation, delivering online education projects so that people are empowered to look after their mental health and the mental health of others.

Location United Kingdom


  • I'm so sorry to hear about your colleague. That's a really tragic outcome and reminds us of the somber reality that many people experience such distress and without support this can be life-ending. Your advice really resonates and hits home, thank you for sharing.

  • That's fantastic, and I'm sure was very well appreciated. Hopefully the organisation will build the risk of distress or trauma arising from the work into their risk assessment processes and provide preventative measures in future too!

  • Exactly, there's no quick fix for this- it's about building trust with consistent, regular efforts and signs to show people that your workplace is a psychologically safe setting.

  • That is so disciplined and fantastic for the mind and body, keep it up!

  • That's a really good point, and I would love to see this model expanded to include factors which individuals have more control of - including attitudes, beliefs, resilience as you say and different personalities.

  • Absolutely! This 'sweet spot' is sometimes referred to as the 'zone of proximal development'. This is where we have work which is challenging enough to take us out of our comfort zone, learn and feel motivated about our growth but not so challenging that it can trigger panic, disengagement and feelings of being overwhelmed.

  • That's so great to hear!! :)

  • Welcome Elaine!

  • That's a really interesting set up and still quite rare! Are there any particular pros and cons that you've noticed?

  • Exactly, burnout isn't an illness - it can lead to mental illnesses if not addressed- but in and of itself it's a distressing experience which worsens wellbeing.

  • Managing study alongside work is incredibly challenging, I really admire your ambition and drive! It sounds like you're nearing the finish line with your studies which I'm sure will pay dividends greatly in the long-term but it's so important to look after your wellbeing in the short-term while juggling so much. My colleagues in our programmes team have some...

  • There are so many pros and cons to remote working, it's really useful to hear your perspective on the negative impact it can have on working relationships, which highlights the need for proactive teambuilding initiatives for remote workers.

  • Absolutely, everyone has a role to play in shifting the culture, regardless of seniority- but leaders in particular are in the key position of power to make decisions that put policies into action.

  • I really like this tiered approach to managing mental health!

  • Hi Alecia and welcome to the course! That sounds like a really difficult political context to be working but so pleased to see you committed to taking a grassroots approach for your team. :)

  • Welcome, Sally! Looking forward to hearing your perspectives from Barcelona!

  • Brilliant, welcome Ellie! Hope you find the course really helpful!

  • Thank you for joining us!

  • So pleased that the course was beneficial to you. Really enjoyed reading your pledges too, wishing you all the best with continuing to be a changemaker at work!

  • Brilliant, welcome Michelle! We'll be very lucky to learn from your expertise in the comments section!

  • I think the fact that you signed up to this course in the first place is proof that you're not 'failing'! There's always more to learn, and we're really pleased that this has been a useful tool on your journey. :)

  • Thanks so much for sharing Melanie, and I'm so sorry that you had such an unsupportive experience. It certainly sounds like the work situation made your health even worse or at least harder to cope with. It's understandable that your mental health would deteriorate during a period of ill health, but that's not to say that it should be expected or can't be...

  • We hear something similar from lots of business owners so you're not alone! I'm sure your employees would actually respect you for leading by example when disconnecting out of hours or when on annual leave, and also feel more comfortable to do the same when it's their turn. I don't underestimate how tricky it can be to do in practice, but it's a really good...

  • Absolutely true. That's why we like to use the infinity loop on our mental health continuum model- to represent that our mental health is a dynamic state of mind which can and will fluctuate.

  • That's a huge question, and probably another course in itself! Something which stands out for me is the difference between external and internal validation. We can't control the thoughts or actions of others, we can only control ourselves and how much mind we pay to others' opinions. Building self-esteem, self-acceptance and self-worth is all part of this...

  • Great examples! For discrimination by perception, the focus is on your own perception of that person (more so than their perception of themselves). So if you believe a person to have OCD, even though they don't, but you treat them differently because of your perception of them, that would be discrimination by perception. Hope that helps!

  • That's the perfect analogy!

  • David does so much work for the Mental Health Foundation as well as other organisations to amplify the voices of people with lived experience of poor mental health in order to improve standards of care. He is truly inspirational and a lovely colleague to boot!

  • Exactly- creating a great working environment makes business sense, and if that's the motivator that gets more organisations on board then we welcome it!

  • Really powerful evidence here, thank you Susie. We know that inequality is a massive driver for poor mental health, so in order to protect mental health we need to do better with tackling systemic and institutional injustice. We are proud to have contributed to a report by the Centre for Mental Health which was published last week, I recommend a read if you're...

  • Brilliant, welcome Ailsa!

  • So well put! Person-centred care is the key!

  • Really good examples of direct and indirect discrimination. Discrimination by association is more to do with being discriminated against because you're connected to someone with a protected characteristic e.g. you're discriminated against because your partner has schizophrenia. Hope that helps!

  • It's really interesting to look at these cultural differences. One of my Finnish friends said something similar to me, that in Finland when someone asks how you are it's really normal to give a really full response- sharing updates on your health, home, family, work and so on and she was really shocked at how private people are generally in the UK. I'm sure it...

  • That sounds brilliant. Having a quiet space is really inclusive practice, not only for people struggling with their mental health but really for anyone who wants to control the noise and distractions in their environment to concentrate better. Hope it goes well!

  • Brilliant, thank you for taking the time to invest in this course! I hope it's beneficial to you :)

  • Welcome, Angi! It's so interesting to hear about your work. At the Mental Health Foundation, our policy team is campaigning for more trauma-informed training for people in public-facing roles, with particular regard to the benefits for refugees and asylum seekers. Scotland seems to be really ahead of the curve in terms of embedding this training into local...

  • Really good points here. We have a short video about mindful communication which echoes a lot of what you've said which you may be interested in.

  • You're so welcome, thank you for being with us and for sharing your valuable insights! All the best :)

  • I know that you said previously that you had concerns over being judged on your return, but it sounds like the process was handled really well. It's so nice to hear these success stories, thanks for sharing!

  • That's one of my favourite quotes! It really changed my perspective on work-life balance when I first saw it, helping me to understand that looking after your wellness isn't to be done as a nice treat if I have the time, but needs to be embedded into my daily routines. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Thanks for highlighting this important area where discrimination is certainly still rife!

  • Unfortunately this sounds like a textbook response to stress and overworking and I'm so sorry you didn't have the support you needed at work! We know that a lot of mental recovery work doesn't happen in isolation, it happens within communities so I hope that your network outside of work was more helpful!

  • Very true, sometimes we dismiss these feelings but it can be helpful to keep a log or diary of when they occur so that we can begin to notice patterns.

  • I really understand how that feels and it's an awful lot of pressure to put on yourself. When I was teaching especially it felt impossible to take time off knowing the implications it would have on my team and my class, not to mention the prep work involved to do a smooth handover. But the bottom line is that our health- physical or mental- has to come first....

  • Personal choice is paramount when it comes to our wellbeing and mental health and if having that clear distinction is helpful to you then that's brilliant! Unfortunately some people don't feel like it's a genuine choice they can make, since the repercussions of disclosure in the workplace are so grave that the only option is to keep things to themselves.