Skip to main content
Start of main content

My Stantec Story: Katie Stannard, signposting the way to positive mental health

October 10, 2022

An interview about Katie’s role as a Mental Health First Aider and why it’s important to take care of our mental health in the workplace and at home

In the My Stantec Story series, our designers, engineers, marketers, project managers, and leaders come together to share how their career journeys at Stantec have shaped their lives and moved them closer to their goals.

Katie, a senior associate in our community development team, speaks about how being a Mental Health First Aider is important to her at home and at work. 

Tell us about your role in our community development team...

I joined Stantec in 2006 as a graduate in our Northampton office. Now, I’m a senior associate and lead the Cambridge Transport Planning team. I mainly get involved with community development projects and work with lots of people in other offices too, especially since the pandemic.    

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love solving problems, especially testing solutions with colleagues who have different approaches—those open, honest, and challenging chats that create those light bulb moments that illuminate a new way of doing things.

Tell us about your role as a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA)

I became an MHFA by chance. In 2016, I took time off work after going through a stressful period in my life. The way that Stantec and my manager supported me in a gradual return to work made a huge difference to me. I learned the hard way that recovery was not linear, so after successfully returning to work, I trained to become an MHFA to help signpost others to the different support avenues that are available.

Why is being a Mental Health First Aider so important to you?

Mental health, whether good or bad, has such a big impact on how much energy we bring to work and take home with us. It affects our performance and our relationships with others. Everyone will experience poor mental health at some point in their life. Being an MHFA is important to me as it provides that visible, confidential support network to support others to seek the help they might need.

How do you see being a Mental Health First Aider adding to your career journey?

It’s just a natural way for me to do more of what makes me tick—creating a compassionate working environment and supporting others where I can. It also means I get to speak to different people within the business and connect with other MHFA’s who have their own stories to tell.

How does Stantec support in your role as Mental Health First Aider?

I can be pro-active in the role and shape it as I wish. Our role is to signpost support, and the role presents the opportunity to raise awareness, encourage people to chat with each other, and explore and share local support networks to help colleagues at difficult times in life. 

Of our brand values which is most important to you and why?

Putting people first is key for me. As an MHFA, I see first-hand how poor mental health can impact your ability to work at your best. We can only support our clients well if we can build the most supportive work and professional environment possible. Good mental health underpins our ability to action all our other brand values: being better together, doing what is right, and being driven to achieve.

What are your passions outside of work?

Chocolate…I am a part-time hobby chocolatier outside work. My husband and I converted the garage to a commercial kitchen over the pandemic and I deliver monthly subscription chocolate boxes for friends and family. It’s a creative outlet for me and it’s very mindful. I just lose myself when I’m in there and I can combine it with my other great love, music. I also love the great outdoors (temperate places only!), my husband, John, and my working cocker spaniel, Bert—and learning about new things from other people who are just as passionate as I am. I’m definitely a proud nerd!

At Stantec, we do what’s right and we put people first. For Katie that means supporting others and championing mental health at work and at home. You can find out more about what Stantec is doing to champion mental health in the workplace here - Stantec achieves Silver at Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Awards

End of main content
To top