Exeter College Launches Mental Health First Aid Programme to Support Staff

As part of our ongoing commitment to staff wellbeing and coinciding with World Mental Health Day 2019, Exeter College is delighted to announce the launch of its Mental Health First Aid provision for staff.

The college has a fantastic programme in place to support the mental health of its learners and has now moved to reinforce the support on offer to staff at the college.

Statistics indicate that one in four people will experience difficulties around their mental health at some time during their working life and this can have a significant impact for some staff at the college. As a response to this, in June of this year, a number of staff from a cross-section of departments, faculties and sites attended a two-day training course and were awarded Mental Health First Aider status by Mental Health First Aid England.

There are now 21 members of staff who have been trained as Mental Health First Aiders. They have developed their existing skills of non-judgemental listening and can offer initial reassurance, with the idea being that they are the first port of call for staff needing someone to talk to. They will be able to give initial support and signpost staff to appropriate help if required.

Speaking about the course, Faculty Coordinator at Exeter College Victoria Davy, a Mental Health First Aider, said: “The Mental Health First Aid course was a fantastic opportunity to hone my skills, learn more about different types of mental health and to better help and guide my colleagues.”

Lisa Cummings, Exeter College’s Deputy Head of Funding, Finance and MIS, another of the college’s Mental Health First Aiders said: “I am proud to be part of an initiative that is working towards breaking down the taboos surrounding mental health conditions. Everybody’s lives have been touched by mental ill health in some way or another and this can affect all aspects of life. The Mental Health First Aider role is there to provide a safe space to talk and to offer support and guidance to staff experiencing mental health conditions.”