Mental Health First Aid
1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issues every year.
At any given time, 1 in 6 adults have symptoms associated with mental ill health.
Mental ill health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costs £34.9 billion each year
NDS Mental Health First Aiders
Mental Health First Aiders are here to help
What is Mental Health First Aid?
Mental Health First Aiders have been trained in how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse disorders, allowing them to assist a person experiencing a mental health crisis.
As well as in a crisis, Mental Health First Aiders are valuable in providing early intervention help for someone who may be developing a mental health issue. Mental Health First Aiders are not trained to be therapists or psychiatrists but they can offer initial support through non-judgemental listening and guidance. First Aiders can signpost people to mental health resources, national organizations, support groups and online tools for mental health and addiction treatment and support.
Mental Health First Aiders are not counsellors and they won't diagnose mental health conditions. However, they have been trained in spotting signs of mental ill-health and can offer short-term support and information, as well as signposting useful mental health services and resources.
WHY SHOULD I SPEAK TO A MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AIDER?
If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of mental ill-health, Mental Health First Aiders can provide a first point of contact and an opportunity to voice your concerns to an objective third party in a confidential, non-judgemental space.
Mental ill-health is not a character defect or a weakness, it is simply a fact of life and it can affect anyone. A Mental Health First Aider can be a valuable source of information and understanding. The statistics around mental health show just how common a problem mental ill-health is.
HOW CAN I ACCESS THE SUPPORT OF A MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AIDER?
The Mental Health First Aiders are listed on this page. They are spread across different sites so that you have easy access to a First Aider wherever you work. We have also partnered with Oncology to provide you with access to a Mental Health First Aider external to the department. All you need to do is send them an email or give them a call and they would be happy to chat. All conversations will be kept confidential unless a Mental Health First Aider has reason to believe a person is at risk of harming themselves or others.
We are also offering drop-in sessions. If you would like to speak to a Mental Health First Aider during these sessions, simply give them a call on Teams! If they are already speaking with someone, you can drop them a message asking them to call you back. Drop-in sessions aim to offer everyone the opportunity to have a chat with someone who can offer a supportive ear and point out useful resources, without having to formally email them to arrange a time to speak.
You can find a list of drop-in sessions here. Mental Health First Aiders will be ready and waiting for you during their drop-in sessions, so it’s that much easier to have a friendly chat.
For further information on Mental Health First Aiders, you can visit MHFA England's website.
Interested in becoming a Mental Health First Aider?
If you are interested in becoming a Mental Health First Aider, please click here to register your interest. This form should take no longer than a minute to complete.