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More than 50 officers and staff qualify as mental health first aiders

More than 50 officers and staff have qualified as mental health first aiders (MHFA) in the force.

They completed a two day course recently, organised by the force and Mental Health First Aid England, which saw attendees learn about the signs and symptoms of common workplace mental health issues and how to effectively guide colleagues towards the right support.

The initiative covers a range of topics including: the roles and responsibilities of a mental health first aider, recognising stress and how to support a colleague who may be experiencing stress, as well as recognising and understanding self-harm and eating disorders.

Samantha Clarke, Organisational Development Trainer at Staffordshire Police, said: “The wellbeing and mental health of everyone within Staffordshire Police is of paramount importance. We now have more than 50 qualified Mental Health First Aiders spread across all areas of the force.

“Antony Dowell, from Imagine Independence who lead the two-day course, has given our MHFAider’s the confidence and skills to support their colleagues when faced with mental health difficulties.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to Antony from Imagine independence. It has been fantastic working with him. I can’t thank him enough for the amount of support he has provided and I have had an incredible amount of positive feedback regarding the course.”

One officer who has now qualified as a mental health first aider is Stoke-on-Trent based PCSO Jasvir Mahil. She said: “The course gave me an understanding of the stigma around mental health and being more aware for the wellbeing of myself and others, both at work and at home. The skills gained will help me to have those difficult conversations and help those who may be struggling mentally."

Antony Dowell, Campaigns and Partnerships Officer from Imagine Independence, said: “The Mental Health First Aid training that Imagine Independence has provided to Staffordshire Police over the last month has given me an enormous amount of respect for the people who will go on to support colleagues with their mental wellbeing, sometimes in very challenging situations.

“With the skills they have learned, they will be in a position to help colleagues find the right support at the right time, while challenging the stigma that poor mental health brings. It has been a pleasure to work with staff and officers who are so dedicated to supporting each other.”


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