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 Marie Lisle, a Facilities & Equipment Assistant within our Medical Education team who completed a refresher course in March 2023.

Bringing things to the forefront

Marie starts by explaining why she wanted to get involved in Mental Health First Training – and the benefits of participating in the refresher course.

“I have had first-hand experience with someone who suffers with their mental heath. When this opportunity arose I jumped at the chance to gain the tools/skills I would need to help other people in the workplace who are suffering with their mental health or in a crisis.

“The course itself was excellent, I loved it all. The refresher course brought everything back to the forefront as it had been over three years since I’d completed the original course – it was well worth doing.”

Open and honest conversations

A key part of being a Mental Health First Aider is having open conversations, and Marie shares this was one of the highlights of the course as she continues: “I thoroughly enjoyed all of the training and the trainer was very knowledgeable. It was nice to meet new people on the course and to be able to have open and honest conversations with each other in a safe environment, and bounce ideas off each other too.

“To anyone considering taking the training, I would say do it! You learn so much about mental health and how it affects us all in different ways. It has given me so much confidence in being able to speak up and help someone in need.

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.