Peterborough education trust to train 29 staff as Adult Mental Health Ambassadors

Thomas Deacon Education Trust is to train 29 members of staff as Mental Health Ambassadors/First Aiders.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 6:38 am
Thomas Deacon Academy.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 (May 10-16) the academy trust which runs schools including Thomas Deacon Academy, Queen Katharine Academy, Gladstone Primary Academy, Welbourne Primary Academy and Richard Barnes Academy have partnered with Saint John Ambulance to deliver the training.

Last April during the Covid-19 lockdown, the trust ran a campaign to promote the mental health training and attracted interest from members of staff across all academies within the Trust. All individuals who showed an interest were offered the opportunity to become Adult Mental Health First Aiders/Ambassadors.

Training with Saint John Ambulance will commence in July 2021 and will mean that TDET will have a sufficient number of trained individuals to deal with and promote positive mental health.

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Similar to a Physical Health First Aider, a Mental Health First Aider is a point of contact for any member of staff who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. Individuals are trained to spot signs and symptoms of mental health issues, provide early intervention for someone who may be developing a mental health issue and offer initial support and guidance.

Mental Health First Aiders are trained to:

- Spot the early signs and symptoms of mental health

- Start a supportive conversation with a person who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress

- Listen to the person in a non-judgemental way

- 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 support systems such as Employee Assist Programmes (EAPs) and counselling services

- Escalate to the appropriate emergency services, if required

- Maintain confidentiality as appropriate

- Protect themselves while performing their role

Harvinder Singh Rajput, TDET Health and Safety Manager at TDET, said: “At TDET, we understand the importance of supporting and improving the mental health of all our employees. We know our colleagues can help our pupils best when they are mentally fit and healthy, as they will be more productive and efficient when they are in a better frame of mind.

“Embedding Mental Health First Aid provisions in the organisation’s management framework helps to reduce stigma and creates a more positive culture as it encourages people to talk about mental health, mental issues and mental illnesses more easily.”