Meet our Mental Health First Aiders: James Fisher

This month, we want to take the opportunity to introduce you to the fab Mental Health First Aiders we have here at HOME. First up is James Fisher, our Studio Manager.

Why did you first want to be trained up as a MHFA and why do you think it’s important?

I’ve had a few conversations over the years with colleagues coming to talk to me about problems, both personal and professional. I always did my best to help them, but when I had the opportunity to get some training myself, I thought it would be good to learn some techniques that I can pass on.

Work can be great fun and very rewarding, but it can also be where the roots of problems grow. Having a support at work means you can confront the problem at the source and try to stop it festering at home. That’s the theory anyway, it’s not so in easy in practice.

How do you think people’s attitude towards mental health is changing?

Well, it’s certainly changed a lot, that goes without saying. Back in the olden days, AKA the 1990’s, there wasn’t a problem out there that couldn’t be fixed with a visit to the pub on a work night with your mates and a kebab on the bus home.

Turns out, beer and kebabs aren’t that great for dealing with mental health problems after all. We’ve discovered this thing called “talking about our feelings”. Crazy concept isn’t it?

Thankfully, it’s become the norm to talk about it in society at large and in the workplace. Our workplace in particular is confronting the issues, but it’s one thing to confront and talk about it and another to have the right things to say and know how to say them. So, it can be an uncomfortable territory to get into if you don’t know what to say and are worried about saying the wrong thing. Really, everyone should go and do a day on a MHFA course.

How do you switch off from work?

For me it’s easy, I close my laptop at the end of the working day, pick it up and put it in a drawer. I don’t touch it again until the next morning. I don’t have work email on my phone. I’ll open my laptop up on a Sunday night, just so I can get on the front foot for a Monday morning, but always put it away again before Antiques Roadshow starts.

Outside of laptop opening and closing antics, I love drumming, cycling and running. Just like old Eminem, I lose myself in the moment. Nothing better for making you smile, especially playing with other musicians. It’s the best thing there is going.

What’s a simple pleasure that brings you joy?

Drumming. It beats working. You’ve got to stick with it.

What’s your favourite soul food recipe?

That’s easy, my wife makes a soup that is the best thing on the face of the Earth. Chicken, potato, carrot, onion. It’s basically a Sunday lunch, but in soup form. Simply the best. I could eat it for every meal for the rest of my life and die a happy man.

Are there any artists or podcasts you listen to, to unwind?

I like listening to The Adam Buxton Podcast. Ramble chat convos with interesting people. I also like listening to Radio 4, you always learn something and it’s great for getting you to sleep.

I’m a big fan of all the music genres, classical, jazz, rock, blues, metal, funk, disco, avant garde and pop. My favourite tune is “Easy Lover” by Phil Collins. I love music, any kind of music.

Written by:

Georgia.Preston Senior Marketing Executive


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