The Trust has over 100 trained mental health first aiders across the organisation. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course, which teaches people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and to provide help on a first aid basis. MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but just like physical first aid, it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis.
There are plenty of different types of support out there, and a Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider) can help you access them.
Mental Health First Aiders are a point of contact if you, or someone you are concerned about, are experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. They are not therapists or diagnosticians, but they can give you initial support and signpost you to appropriate help if required.
For me, the MHFA has enable me to offer consistency of approach (i.e. empathic ethos) into non-patient contexts.
I am currently seconded to the Health and Wellbeing team. I have been a MHFA since May 2019. Since I became a MHFA I have been offering staff the opportunity to come and talk to me in private and confidentially where I listen non judgementally and signpost to the relevant services. Being a MHFA helps to support staff and helps to prevent staff reaching crisis point. Support for our staff is paramount.
I trained as an Mental Health First Aider and Instructor in 2018, and I’ve had plenty of opportunities to apply my experience and knowledge since. I have been able to confidently support staff wellbeing, during the pandemic and guide individuals through the struggles they have faced. Reaching out to people, and offering help and guidance is crucial to maintaining positive wellbeing. Being part of the MHFA community has also positively impacted on my own wellbeing, and particularly over the last few months – I am grateful to be part of the MHFA team!
To find out more about Mental Health First Aiders, speak to your line manager upon commencement of your role.