The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course, designed to teach people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis. In the same way as learning physical first aid, MHFA teaches people how to recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health and feel confident to guide someone to appropriate support. Embedding MHFA training within any organisation or community also encourages people to talk more freely about mental health, reducing stigma and creating a more positive culture.

At any one time one in four people will be experiencing depression, anxiety or issues relating to stress (Mind, 2020). We understand the importance of our workforce having access to a Mental Health First Aiders. There are now 140 qualified Mental Health First Aiders working across the Trust with more being trained every month.

A Mental Health First Aider is the first point of contact and will listen non-judgementally and sign post to appropriate support. They are not counsellors. 

We also understand how difficult it can be at times, to speak to someone you know, or know is in your own CSU. That’s why we have a database available for everyone to access.
If you would like to speak to a Mental Health First Aider please see the database at: 

Mental Health First Aider Database (leedsth.nhs.uk) 

If you want to speak to a Mental Health First Aider from a particular demographic, the health and wellbeing team can put you in touch with one. Please email them onleedsth-tr.HealthandWellbeing@nhs.net

Becoming a Mental Health First Aider

Before signing up to take part in the Mental Health First Aid training, please read the information below. You and your manager will be required to sign a contract to say you are willing to be part of the Mental Health First Aiders database so employees know who they can approach if they are experiencing mental health issues.

Completing this training externally costs at least £300.  The Trust is making this investment in you and your team because we recognise the importance of increasing awareness of mental health issues and providing appropriate signposting and support.

The role  - the role of a Mental Health First Aider in the workplace is to be a point of contact for an employee who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction could range from having an initial conversation through to supporting the person to get appropriate help. 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.

Mental Health First Aiders are trained to:

  • Spot the early signs and symptoms of mental ill health.
  • Start a supportive conversation with a colleague who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress.
  • Listen to the person non-judgementally.
  • Assess the risk of suicide or self-harm.
  • Encourage the person to access appropriate professional support or self-help strategies. This might include encouraging access to internal support systems such as EAPs or in-house counselling services.
  • Escalate to the appropriate emergency services, if necessary.
  • Maintain confidentiality as appropriate.
  • Complete critical incident documents as and when necessary.
  • Protect themselves while performing their role.

At no time does the Mental Health First Aider role (or anyone trained in MHFA skills) supersede Trust policy: first and foremost they are all employees of the Trust.

Mental Health First Aiders will:

  • Listen.
  • Provide a supportive environment in which to discuss mental Health issues.
  • Support those seeking advice in making decisions that are right for them and their situation.
  • Provide information on the options available and refer the individual on to another support mechanism.
  • Attend training in relation to the role.
  • Attend regular meetings with the Mental Health First Aid lead to share experience and good practice.
  • Attend supervision when appropriate.

Mental Health First Aiders cannot:

  • Make decisions for people.
  • “Fix” problems.
  • Provide counselling.

Support for Mental Health First Aiders - Internal support is very important to successfully embed Mental Health First Aiders into our organisation and appropriate CPD and supervision will be provided.   All Mental Health First Aiders are expected to commit to CPD and supervision as part of their role. 

Course Details: (Online) - The course is interactive and is delivered through slides, video clips, activities, discussion and case studies which you will explore as a group to embed learning.  

You will need to access the learning hub, Enabley on Google Chrome. 

The course is an online 2 day course and is made up of both individual learning activities and a series of live sessions. Individual learning will be based on a combination of videos, workbook activities and reading. This can be done at your own pace in advance of each live session. The live sessions are led by an approved MHFA England Instructors.

The Individual learning must be completed before each live session as we reflect on your learning in the sessions and reinforce what you have already learnt. If you haven’t completed your individual learning then it will be hard to take part in the live sessions.

  • Individual learning: 1 - 4 (to be completed before live session 1)

Day 1

  • Live session 1: 9:30am - 12:00pm (please arrive from 9:00 am to test your technology)
  • Individual learning: 5 - 10 (to be completed before live session 2)
  • Live session 2:  2:00pm - 4:30pm
  • Individual learning: 11 - 17 (to be completed before live session 3)

Day 2

  • Live session 3:  9:00am - 11:30am
  • Individual learning: 18 - 21 (to be completed before live session 4)
  • Live session 4:  1:30pm - 4:00pm

The available dates for the Mental Health First Aid 2 day course are as follows: 

  • 13th and 15th December 2021
  • 20th and 22nd December 2021
  • 11th and 13th January 2022
  • 18th 20th January 2022
  • 24th and 26th January 2022
  • 7th and 9th February 2022
  • 15th 17th February 2022
  • 22nd and 24th February 2022
  • 8th and 10th March 2022
  • 15th 17th March 2022
  • 21st and 23rd March 2022
  • 11th and 13th April 2022
  • 19th 21st April 2022
  • 25th and 27th April 2022
  • 17th 19th May 2022
  • 14th 16th June 2022
  • 19th 21st July 2022
  • 9th 11th August 2022
  • 13th 15th September 2022
  • 18th 20th October 2022
  • 15th 17th November 2022
  • 13th 15th December 2022

Please complete the following application and contract after discussing with your line manager.  Please send completed documents to the following email address: leedsth-tr.HealthandWellbeing@nhs.net 

Mental-Health-First-Aider-Contract

Mental-Health-First-Aider-Application-Form-v2