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Join the MPLS Mental Health First Aiders

We are inviting expressions of interest from individuals across MPLS to join our cohort of divisional Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAer). If you are keen to develop the skills and confidence to support someone experiencing mental health difficulties, want to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around mental health, and join a group of like-minded individuals, we want to hear from you!

Read on to find out more about what being a MHFAer in MPLS means and apply below.

What you will learn

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue. MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.

You’ll learn to recognise warning signs of mental ill health and develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone while keeping yourself safe.

You’ll learn how to empower someone to access the support they might need for recovery or successful management of symptoms. This could include self-help books or websites, accessing therapy services through their GP, their school or place of work, online self-referral, support groups, and more.

You’ll also gain an understanding of how to support positive wellbeing and tackle stigma in the world around you.

Text taken from the Mental Health First Aid England website.

The MPLS Mental Health First Aider role

The role of an MPLS Mental Health First Aider (MHFAer) is to offer confidential, informal support to anyone within MPLS experiencing poor mental health or stress, whether work-related or not. We are often the first point of contact for MPLS staff and students, talking through options and signposting to the right service if further support is required. You will:

  • Listen to, reassure and respond to any member of MPLS who approaches you in that role, or who you think might need MHFAer support.
  • Support colleagues and students to identify helpful measures they might need for recovery of their wellbeing or successful management of symptoms by signposting to resources and services available to them.
  • Join the MPLS MHFAer peer support group, to share (confidentially) experiences, get advice or support and participate in termly learning opportunities to keep skills refreshed.
  • Remember, whilst MHFAiders may on occasion be called upon to offer support to a colleague or student in a mental health crisis, it is important to be clear that your role is to reassure and to signpost to appropriate professional support at the earliest opportunity. MHFAiders are not expected to provide ongoing support, although it may be helpful to have a follow-up conversation in some cases.

If you want to find out more, read the MHFA England guidance on the role.

Your commitment to being an MPLS Mental Health First Aider

To ensure you are fully supported in this role and that we are able to provide effective support to the division, we do require all MPLS MHFAers to:

  • Join termly peer support sessions and learning opportunities to keep skills refreshed and to ensure you are comfortable and confident in your MHFAer role (dates allowing).
  • Provide regular feedback to the MPLS ED&I Coordinator (who coordinates the MPLS MHFAers) on number and type of interactions in the role (for monitoring and evaluation purposes).
  • Participate in our annual Mental Health Awareness Week programme (every May) to raise awareness and visibility of the MPLS MHFAers.
  • Publicise the MPLS MHFAers across your department to raise awareness and visibility, and act as an informal advocate for mental health awareness.

The University has some useful guidance on University expectations of MHFAers.

Dates of training

You must be able to attend all of the following dates to be a qualified MHFAer, and have line manager / supervisor approval before completing the Form. All sessions are online.

Zoom Session 1: Monday 15 July, 10:00 - 14:00 PM
Zoom Session 2: Wednesday 17 July, 10:00 - 14:00 PM
Zoom Session 3: Monday 22 July, 10:00 - 14:00 PM
Zoom Session 4: Wednesday 24 July, 10:00 - 14:00 PM

Ready to apply?

Complete this Microsoft Form by Friday 28 June 2024.