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Continuing our series unpicking a ‘day in the life’ of OH practitioners both pre and post Covid, we spoke to OH adviser and mental health trainer Libby Morley-Hassanali.
How did you come into occupational health?
I’d never heard of occupational health as a “thing” until 2011. After a break from “traditional” nursing, the arrival of kids and living in Berlin for six years, I completed a return to professional practice (RPP) diploma and stumbled across OH.
About Libby Morley-Hassanali
Libby Morley-Hassanali runs Mindshift Consultancy
I knew that my passion was more about talking to patients than in the practicalities of wound-care or toileting. I had strong beliefs that emotional health and lifestyle were linked to physical health. I wanted to connect with people “before” they became unwell.
An advert caught my eye… OHA on a building site. As I explored the role of an OHA, I became seriously interested.
The challenge was then set; in order to work as an OHA I needed a qualification, and in order to gain a qualification I needed to be working in OH! It was a “right place, right time” situation and on applying for the job my new employer agreed to sponsor my studies at Warwick University.
I did not have a clue during my first weeks on site! Surrounded by noise, dirt, smells (my office was next to the men’s loo in a porta-cabin). I eventually found myself growing in confidence and completing skin checks, hearing tests and giving a million flu vaccines often via massive, tattooed arms (after they joked about dropping their trousers, of course!).
Tell me about your role, how long you have been doing it and what you do?
In 2014 I began delivering mental health first aid courses (MHFA), and in 2016 I took a leap to build up my training business as an independent OHA and MH trainer.
Whilst working on an assignment for the diploma in OH, I discovered MHFA England and self-funded to become a trainer. I felt this truly played to my passion and having found increasingly that management referrals contained elements of stress or mental distress, it became clear that most managers and organisations had limited knowledge on how to support this.
In my twenties I had experience of anxiety and depression and studied counselling and transactional analysi