In recognition of mental health awareness week, Steph Kaye, team leader in the EMC's Machining Hall shares her story of coping with loss and where to get help.
Lose can be difficult, yet trying to come to terms with the death of more than one family member in a short period of time can lead to feelings of anxiety, stress and even depression. This was the case for Steph Kaye, a team leader in Mod 1 Machining, who lost her dad to cancer just over a year ago.
In the months following, Steph’s life was effected by the loss of her grandma and her two uncles, all within 12 months. The impact of this was felt across her family and for Steph, it began to impact her work and how she interacted with colleagues.
What Steph didn’t know at the time, was that Jaguar Land Rover have support networks designed to help people with bereavement.
She’s keen, having gone through such a difficult time herself, to raise awareness of what’s available, so others don’t feel alone.
She’s also pleased to see that in the last few months, the facility has invested in training for team leaders designed to not only raise awareness of the internal support networks available, but also how to cope with issues as they arise.
She said: “The last eighteen months have been really difficult for me. I didn’t know where to go to for help and there didn’t seem to be much awareness of what support the business could give to those dealing with bereavement. It did make me feel quite isolated. I hardly had time to gather my thoughts before the family were rocked by a further loss.
“I felt that my work suffered, as I was dealing with a lot of personal issues; it was tough mentally to pick myself up. I became less patient and more frustrated as I tried to deal with the feelings I was experiencing.
“My family were a massive support, especially my mum, but she was dealing with her own grief. It would have been nice to have known about the support available to me, which is why I’m so pleased that the EMC have started this new training and awareness programme to support its employees.
“My process leader from the block line was the one who referred me to the occupational health team.
“Gordon had been supported by them through a serious illness and could see I was getting more and more frustrated and angry at work. I wasn’t really myself, so he suggested I go and talk to them. I was so glad I did.
“Prior to this I didn’t know anything about organisations such as BEN (an independent charity and dedicated partner to the automotive industry). There are also so many other channels where individuals can get support and advice, which I wish I’d known before.”
Steph was also unaware of the Employee Assistance Programme, which can help employees with advice and support on money and debt worries, problems in their personal life, legal issues, relationships, work, family crisis and health and illness, amongst other things.
To get help, employees can call 0800 015 5630, with lines open 24/7, 365 days of the year. CLICK HERE to visit the EAP website. Employees of Jaguar Land Rover can login with the username ‘lifestyle1234’ and password ‘carefirst’.
The EAP service is facilitated by Aviva and delivered by Care First. It’s free for all JLR employees to use. For team leaders and others who manage people, there’s also a selection of support materials available to download and display in your local areas.
Steph said: “One of the hardest things I found dealing with my own bereavement was the sense that I always thought they would be there.
“I come from a really close family, so I think that it hit us especially hard, losing so many in such a short time. I’m now starting to feel more able to cope with what has happened and would encourage others to seek out the support available to them. Knowing you are not alone is the first step and engaging with the organisations that can help is vital.
“Ensuring the general good health and wellbeing of the workforce is an absolutely critical part of making sure that a business continues to succeed.
“There are many different ways that Jaguar Land Rover looks to support its workforce. Here at the EMC, I’m really glad that we’re taking the lead on training, helping people managers recognise the signs of anxiety and also signposting where to get help.”
I come from a really close family, so I think that it hit us especially hard, losing so many in such a short time. I’m now starting to feel more able to cope with what has happened and would encourage others to seek out the support available to them. Knowing you are not alone is the first step and engaging with the organisations that can help is vital.