Firefighters and staff qualify as mental health first aiders

Firefighters and staff from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have qualified as mental health first aiders (MHFA).

Representatives from the service have completed a two day course in recent weeks, organised by the service and supported by our provider, Imagine Independence. The programme saw attendees learn about the signs and symptoms of common workplace mental health issues and how to effectively guide colleagues towards the appropriate support. 

The training 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.

One member of staff who has now qualified as a mental health first aider is Adam Brunt, Community Engagement Officer at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, who said: “The mental health first aid training was really worthwhile and an informative experience. It has helped to increase my knowledge of how to triage and signpost colleagues who require emotional support and I look forward to putting my learning into practice in the future to help people when they need it most.”

Antony Dowell, Campaigns and Partnerships Officer from Imagine Independence, led the two-day course and said: “The Mental Health First Aid training that Imagine Independence has provided to Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service 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 firefighters who are so dedicated to supporting each other.”