Our ‘Meet the MHFA’ series, aims to help you get to know the dozens of trained Mental Health First Aiders we have within #TeamGateshead – serving to grow their profiles, create more friendly faces and provide you with more support networks when you’re in need.

The latest colleague to discuss their experience of Mental Health First Aider training is Lisa English, a Senior Programme Lead (Clinical) within the Enabling Effective Learning Environments team who completed the training course back in March 2023.

Supporting colleagues

Prior to signing-up for training, Lisa noted her hope to be able to better support those in her team – regardless of their location, sharing: “I wanted to make sure that colleagues who often work from home don’t become isolated and feel like they’re missing support.”

And on completion of the training, Lisa explained: “I now have more general awareness of how to support others who have mental health struggles as well as who to signpost them to for further support.

“I found the training to be extremely helpful. It really helped me build my confidence and understanding of the role, and I now have access to useful tools including apps and other Mental Health First Aider networks.”

Creating confidence:

On the theme of confidence, Lisa continued: “My favourite part of the training was really understanding what is and isn’t the role of a Mental Health First Aider, and how the training gave me the confidence to be able to approach someone who is struggling as well as the equipment to help them in a clear formula to follow.”

And when asked what she’d say to someone else considering taking the training, Lisa finishes: “Do it. Even if you can help even only one person to seek help in a crisis, it will be worth it.”

Register your interest in Mental Health First Aider training:

Throughout 2023 we will be continuing to offer regular Mental Health First Aider courses. To express your interest and be added to a waiting list of colleagues who are looking to complete the two-day training session, complete our registration form. Alternatively, to learn more about the role itself, visit our First Aiders page or download the role description.

Finding a Mental Health First Aider:

A full list of our Mental Health First Aiders can be found on our Find A Mental Health First Aider page, providing you with contact details for all qualified MHFAs who can act as a point of contact for any employee who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress.

As #MeetTheMHFA unfolds, we’ll be updating the page to link back to these items – providing you with the chance to get to know a First Aider more prior to making contact, as well as looking at how we reformat the page to more clearly identify which MHFAs are from which business unit.