Our new series ‘Meet the MHFA’, 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 Sharon Edwards, a Junior Sister located in Outpatients who recently completed a refresher session in March 2023.

“Some of the best training I have ever had”

Echoing the sentiments of fellow Mental Health First Aider Caitlin Barry, Sharon shares: “I enjoyed all of the training and feel as though the ALGEE assessment process was extremely helpful in particular.

“I found the refresher course to be some of the best training I have ever had – there was a great mix of teaching methods, good group participation and I got to meet some lovely people.”

Why train as a First Aider?:

Explaining her personal motivations for taking part in a refresher course, Sharon continued: “I have always had an interest in mental health and how it affects everyone in every walk of life. It appears to me that more and more people are sharing their mental health issues – and I wanted to gain more knowledge in this area to enable me to offer better support.

“For anyone with an interest in mental health, this is a great course. It really makes you feel more confident in dealing with all aspects of the subject.

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.