Mental Health First Aiders Heart

What is a Mental Health First Aider?

The role of a Mental Health First Aider in the workplace is to be a point of contact for any employee who is experiencing a mental health issue, or emotional distress.

It’s important to note that Mental Health First Aiders are not therapists or psychiatrists, but they can offer support through non-judgemental listening and guidance. First Aiders may also be able to provide signposting advice – though it’s also worth noting that most if not all such resources should be findable via this website.

Mental Health First Aiders will listen to you without judgement, and with compassion. They will help you to find the next step in accessing help, and will support you to take that step – they understand that this can often be difficult.

As well as the role description above, you can also click the button below to learn more about all three tiers of our mental health first aid training, and how MHFA’s fit into this.

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All colleagues can also access professional avenues of free and confidential counselling support and talking therapies – including our internal counselling service within the Occupational Health and Wellbeing Team. To find out more about this service, visit our Counsellling page.

Colleagues who would be more comfortable in accessing this kind of support confidentially from external partners can also access support through the NENC ICS Staff Wellbeing Hub and Gateshead Talking Therapies.

The role of a Mental Health First Aider

Learn more about how to become an MHFA, the outcomes and benefits, the role itself and what MHFA training equips you for.

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Other support and signposting

Those who are experiencing may also wish to access dedicated or more targeted support. Our Personal Support page provides signposting based on potential causes of mental ill health. Elsewhere, our Trauma page features our guide to Wellbeing Support after Trauma, and our Suicide Prevention page features signposting specifically aimed at those either in crisis or looking to support those who are.

We’re constantly working to review and improve our offer with the ultimate aim of supporting colleagues. Often the best place to start might be by reaching out and asking for advice, so don’t forget you can also always contact us for help and advice. We’ll gladly help point you in the right direction.