Twelve members of staff at South Essex College have qualified as mental health first aiders.
The group completed a two day course, run by Mental Health First Aid England, which looked at a range of mental health issues and challenged stereotypes.
This initial round of training has allowed these members of staff to develop their understanding of mental health issues as well as their skills and confidence in dealing with a mental health ‘crisis’ situation. They are now sharing their knowledge with colleagues and breaking down barriers associated with mental health.
The staff represent different areas of the college, both academic and support, meaning students and staff now have better access to mental health support at the college.
The college is now looking to expand the training and encourage more staff to take part. Some staff members who took part this initial training are now undertaking a ‘train the trainer’ scheme later in the year so more staff will be able to be trained in mental health first aid.
Nikki Hill, student engagement officer, said it was an important step in supporting student and staff wellbeing.
She said: “It’s incredibly important to break down the stigma that is still associated with mental health. By talking and learning about the issue we can ensure that those who need it are able to access help and support.
“It’s great to see staff getting behind the scheme and we want to train up as many people as possible.”