Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course, designed to teach people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis. In the same way as learning physical first aid, MHFA teaches people how to recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health and feel confident to guide someone to appropriate support. Embedding MHFA training within any organisation or community also encourages people to talk more freely about mental health, reducing stigma and creating a more positive culture.
A Mental Health First Aider is the first point of contact and will listen non-judgementally and sign post to appropriate support.
Mental Health First Aiders are not trained to be therapists or psychiatrists, but they can offer initial support through non-judgemental listening and guidance.
Mental Health First Aiders are trained to:
- Spot the early signs and symptoms of mental ill health.
- Start a supportive conversation with a colleague who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress.
- Listen to the person non-judgementally.
- Assess the risk of suicide or self-harm.
- Encourage the person to access appropriate professional support or self-help strategies.
- Escalate to the appropriate emergency services, if necessary.
- Maintain confidentiality as appropriate.
- Complete critical incident documents as and when necessary.
- Protect themselves while performing their role.
The two-day, online course is made up of both individual learning activities and a series of live sessions. Individual learning will be based on a combination of videos, workbook activities and reading. This can be done at your own pace in advance of each live session.
If you decide to sign up, you and your manager will be required to sign a contract to say you are willing to be part of the Mental Health First Aiders database so employees know who they can approach if they are experiencing mental health issues. The role of a Mental Health First Aider in the workplace is to be a point of contact for an employee who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction could range from having an initial conversation through to supporting the person to get appropriate help. As well as in a crisis, Mental Health First Aiders are valuable in providing early intervention help for someone who may be developing a mental health issue.
The training is delivered by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s approved MHFA England Instructors.
Applications for the course are currently closed.
If you have questions about the training, please contact leedsth-tr.HealthandWellbeing@nhs.net