Frequently Asked Questions
We hope that the following information will answer some of your queries, however if you have any further questions, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Given the nature of the role, there is no specified time commitment involved. You may be required to provide mental health first aid to a colleague in need at any time, whether this is an individual coming to you for support or approaching a colleague you are concerned about. There may be periods when you are not required to provide first aid for a couple of months, whilst there may be other periods when you are providing support every couple of weeks.
The training will involve approximately 5 hours of self-directed learning via online modules and two live 3-hour webinars. In total, you should allow 11 hours for the training programme, which is likely to be spaced out over at least 2 weeks. All Mental Health First Aiders will be expected to attend support sessions every 6-8 weeks.
It is not essential that you have a background in mental health or prior training to become a Mental Health First Aider. However, we would strongly advise that you attend one of our available mental health training sessions (Mental Health Awareness/Managing Mental Health in the Workplace) before considering the role. This will provide an important overview of some key mental health conditions, their signs and symptoms and the importance of positive mental health in the workplace.
To effectively provide mental health first aid to a colleague in need, it is important that you are someone who feels confident to support an individual during a mental health crisis or when experiencing severe emotional distress. You should be emotionally intelligent, resilient and an excellent communicator. You will be trained to assess a situation, give support, listen non-judgmentally and appropriately signpost an individual to further help, but these should be skills that you already feel you will quickly pick up.
It is also important that you have a keen interest in mental health and would feel passionate about being an advocate for positive mental health in the workplace. You should feel strongly about the importance of increasing mental health awareness and contributing towards the Authority’s efforts to reduce mental health stigma.
A briefing session with the Programme Coordinator will be available before undertaking the training where you will have the option to ask any questions about the role. This might also help you to decide whether you think it is for you.
If at any point during or after the training you decide this role is not for you, it is advised that you get in touch with the Programme Coordinator to discuss this further. This is a voluntary role so if you feel that it is not for you, you will be able to step down from your duties at any time. However, we would strongly encourage you to think carefully about the role before undergoing the training.
Once you have successfully completed the training, you will be awarded a certificate in Adult Mental Health First Aid, which will qualify you for 3 years. Refresher training will then be required.
If you and your manager are not in agreement with regards to your suitability for the position, it is advised that you contact the Programme Coordinator to discuss your suitability further. Where there is considerable doubt as to whether the role is for you, the decision might be made to reject your application. Please try not to be disheartened in these circumstances. The decision will be made with both your own and other employees' wellbeing in mind.
If you feel that you require additional support and would like to talk to someone, there are several options for you. You will receive a comprehensive Mental Health First Aider manual which details several support organisations which you can contact at any time. We would also encourage you to speak with a fellow Mental Health First Aider in a confidential manner to debrief after any difficult situations. You can also speak with your manager, who may refer you to Occupational Health or our Wellbeing Support Service where necessary.
Once you have completed your training, you will be asked to provide a short personal profile to be included on our Mental Health First Aider intranet page. Here, employees will be able to find out who our qualified Mental Health First Aiders are and how to contact them.
You will also have the option to download a Mental Health First Aid email signature to let colleagues know you are happy to support them. We are also exploring the options for a logo or further branding for Mental Health First Aiders.
Page updated: 03/06/2021 16:44:58