Number of Mental Health First Aiders Doubles with NHS Charities Together Support

With the help and support of NHS Charities Together we’ve been able to train an additional 64 Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) – doubling the number of MHFAs that are available to over 28,000 staff at Manchester University Foundation Trust.

Trained MHFAs support employees experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This can be anything from an initial conversation through to supporting the person to get help. MHFAs are invaluable in providing early intervention help for someone who may be developing a mental health issue.

Dan Foden, Senior Charge Nurse at the Neonatal Unit at Wythenshawe Hospital, recently underwent training to become a Mental Health First Aider and shared with us why he thinks it is important.

“I have a personal interest in mental health, but professionally I think it is so important to be able to support people as early as possible with anxiety, stress or any other mental ill health they may be experiencing. For example, I recently spoke to the parent of a patient because I could recognise the signs that they needed help. The training definitely helped in this situation, as it gave me the confidence and knowledge to approach them and signpost them to other sources of professional help. I am really pleased that our conversation led them to seeking and receiving support.

“The training was more than I initially expected but it was thorough, helpful and insightful. I am now confident in approaching people who may be struggling and speaking to those who take that big step in asking for help from me. Thanks to the Mental Health First Aider training I believe I will be able to better support my colleagues before they reach a crisis point.

“Through offering my support and promoting my role as a Mental Health First Aider this helps to breakdown the stigmas attached to mental ill health and makes talking about mental health normal.

To have additional Mental Health First Aiders means that we can support more people at work and ultimately spread the message that we care and that it is ok to talk about our mental health just like we do our physical health. “