Mental Health First Aiders

Mental Health First Aiders

The role of the University of Lincoln Mental Health First Aiders is to be a point of contact and support for any member of staff experiencing a mental ill health issue or emotional distress, in exactly the same way as you would contact a First Aider if you were to have an accident or injury at work.

The role of the Mental Health First Aiders is to recognise mental ill health and help people find the support they need to stay well. They strive to achieve the University of Lincoln’s ambitions of creating an inclusive culture, whereby attitudes and behaviours to mental ill health are not stigmatised, and staff feel able to talk about their mental health without fear of repercussion or judgement. To ultimately create an environment where everyone has the skills to look after their own and others’ wellbeing.

Mental Health First Aiders can

  • Understand the important factors affecting mental ill health
  • Identify the signs and symptoms for a range of mental health conditions
  • Listen non-judgementally and hold supportive conversations
  • Signpost you to professional help and ongoing support

Mental Health First Aiders cannot

  • Diagnose mental health conditions
  • Provide therapy or counselling
  • Provide an ongoing support service
  • Provide an emergency or out of hours service

Meet the Mental Health First Aiders

Hover over the images to read why the individual chose to undertake the training and become a Mental Health First Aider.

“Mental health is as important as physical health to me. It is part of our overall wellbeing and I strongly believe in removing the stigma surrounding mental health. Listening non-judgementally is important to me. We all deserve to have our experiences heard.”

“Mental Health is important for all of us and its vital that we are able to help and support those who are in need, and not view it as a stigma.”

“I took the opportunity to become a Mental Health First Aider to help those who are experiencing mental health issues. By supporting others, we can further become one community.”

Blaine Monaghan

“I’m a First Aider at work and I’ve become increasingly aware of the need to support colleagues with their mental health too. The current pandemic has had a massive impact on mental health, making this support even more important for everyone.”

Cheryl Cliffe

“Talking is one of the best starting points in helping people feel better. I want to be part of a community that encourages and welcomes discussions about mental health.We all need to look after each other.”

“Mental health is important because it can affect everything in our daily lives.

It is important to speak about mental health and overcome harmful stigmas that continue to be associated with seeking help or treatment.”

Courtney Wheatley

“I feel I have the personal experiences and good social skills that could help someone to get them on the right path by signposting them to seek the right treatment and support to help them to deal with their mental health issues.”

“I believe we need to be able to talk about our Mental Health when we feel its suffering. I want to provide a safe space for anyone who needs to talk and for them to know that I will listen non-judgmentally and support them to the best of my ability.”

“Our mental health is a fundamental part of our wellbeing, and has an impact on every aspect of the way we live our lives. It’s ok to acknowledge when we are not mentally healthy, and it’s ok to talk about it. We can make positive changes, and we can move forward.”

“It important to raise awareness of mental health and to highlight that is just as important to take care of this as it is our physical health. I want to help erase the stigma that is attached to discussing mental health and offer a safe place for people to talk.”

Georgina Morgan

“I chose to become a mental health first aider to be able to support colleagues, friends and family who may be experiencing mental health issues and seek out the right professional help. Becoming a MHFA has meant I am able to help others.”

Hannah Phillips

“Negative mental health stigma prevents so many people from reaching out and getting the support they need. For me, Mental Health First Aid is about supporting the people around me and encouraging others to practice empathy in their day to day lives.”

Harriet Moore

“I believe that spotting the signs of mental health issues early is key to preventing them from escalating.

I want to be able to support staff as soon as possible and help give them the tools and resources to be able to manage their condition.”

“It is so important for people to have a safe and open environment to talk about mental health.

Everyone should be encouraged to talk freely about their mental health and be able to reach out for support.”

“I have a really good understanding of the complexities of Higher Education and the operations of the University. I want everyone to feel they have someone to talk to and they don’t have to face their challenges alone.”

“I believe that we should consider our mental health in the same way as we would our physical health; the body and the mind are both equally as important and should encourage active discussions around our wellbeing.”

“Mental health issues surround us all. I suffer from both depression and anxiety, but I want to use my experiences to guide others to seek the help everyone deserves.”

Lauren Shrimpton

“I have always been interested in mental health and how it affects people. It is really important to remove the stigma around mental health, and help everyone understand that seeking help for your mind is as important as any other part of your body.”

Linsey Woodcock

“I have had past experience of dealing with poor mental health with friends and family. I have always taken a keen interest and tried to ensure that any help I provide is the right help for that individual.”

“I really like to help employees at the University of Lincoln”

“From first-hand experience, I know the immense value of having a trusted person to talk with when a mental ill health issue or emotionally distressing situation presses. Taking the first step to reach out is tough, but absolutely the right thing to do.”

Michael Korhonen

“I believe our mental health is just as important as our physical health and that’s why I think it is so important to normalise talking about it. I want to be part of the solution in removing the stigma around mental health.”

“Our mental health has a big impact on the quality of our lives and it’s important we raise awareness of mental health in order to be able to help others (colleagues) feel better and able to deal with situations they may find themselves in.”

Natasha McLaren

“The training has helped me to recognise the signs and symptoms of different mental health conditions and be equipped to offer that first-response help for staff and managers who may be experiencing mental health problems themselves or within their team.”

“This is a subject very close to my heart and I firmly believe that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. I am excited to be a part in this positive shift in culture, removing stigmas and getting people talking openly.”

“We all experience times when our mental health is not as good as it could be and being able to talk about this can have such a positive effect. I want to help people to access a range of methods that equips them with the ability to improve their own mental health. “

Rachel Farrow

“Talking is one of the best first steps in supporting someone who may be struggling. It’s so important for everyone to have access to a safe and supportive environment where they will be listened to, without judgement.”

Rebecca Forster

“Good mental health is a key part of our ability to manage the day-to-day and the unexpected. I feel it’s important to be able to discuss mental health concerns in a supportive environment.”

“It is important to raise awareness that everyone has mental health, just like they have physical health, which needs to be looked after. There is nothing too big nor too small to reach out to talk to someone about.”

Rosanna Denton

“I believe mental health is as important as physical health, therefore, as we care for our bodies, I believe in caring for the mind.

We all have mental health and it should be discussed as openly as we discuss other aspects of health.”

“Our mental health is crucial to our general wellbeing and it’s so important to look after one another. As a Mental Health First Aider, I hope to be able offer a safe and supportive environment for individuals to talk, to seek guidance and to feel comfortable.”

“Mental Health effects people in many ways, which we all deal with in various ways. Providing support to staff as quickly as possible is something I feel very passionate about. I believe everyone deserves that opportunity to be heard.”

Sophie Packer

“I feel very strongly about removing the stigma attached to mental health and encouraging people to speak out about the problems they are facing.

Everybody has the right to feel heard and supported.”

Stacey Leonard

“Mental health is so important for overall health and wellbeing at work and in general life, so I wanted to be able to help others efficiently and to the best of my ability in a time of need.”

Stefan Pearce

“I wanted to be a Mental Health First Aider because I believe Mental Health should be given the same level of attention as Physical Health. It is very important to understand Mental Health, and know how to talk about it, to help support staff in a safe environment.”

How to contact a Mental Health First Aider

  • Please select a member of the team above and email them in the first instance requesting a MHFA support meeting.
  • If you receive an out of office message you can select an alternative member of staff or wait for them to return, dependent on how quickly you wish to talk to someone.
  • In our current working circumstances, on receiving the email the First Aider will arrange a Teams Meeting or phone call with you, based on your preference and each individuals’ availability.
  • In the meeting they will talk to you about how you are feeling and listen empathetically and without judgement.
  • They will give support and information and encourage you to get appropriate professional help if needed or encourage other supports.

Please be assured that your conversation is confidential and will only be shared with the relevant Professional Support with your authority

In an Emergency or Out of Hours

  • Samaritans – For everyone. Call 116 123 / email
  • Call your GP and ask for an emergency appointment
  • Call 111 out of hours – they will help you find the support you need
  • Contact your mental health crisis team – LPFT Telephone: 0800 001 4331 (open 24/7). The helpline is for people 18+ years old.
  • Childline – for children and young people under 19. Call 0800 1111 – the number will not show up on your phone bill.
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men. Call 0800 58 58 58 (5pm to midnight every day). Visit the webchat page.
  • Papyrus – for people under 35. Call 0800 068 41 41 (Monday to Friday 9am to 10pm, weekends and bank holidays 2pm to 10pm) / text 07860 039967 / email
  • If you have seriously harmed yourself – for example, by taking a drug overdose – call 999 for an ambulance or go straight to A&E. Or ask someone else to call 999 or take you to A&E.
  • University of Lincoln Employee Assistance Programme 
  • If not alone talk to a member of your family or friend.