Becoming a mental health first aider

Having first aiders in the workplace is generally a given, across all businesses nowadays. Although not a legal requirement to have a fully trained member of staff, there must be someone in the organisation appointed to take charge of this, should an incident occur. But what about mental health first aid?

One in four adults – and one in ten children and young people – experience mental ill health each year. Being able to spot that a colleague is struggling with a mental health difficulty, and confidently supporting them, can therefore make a huge difference. In fact, early action can help individuals to recover quicker by stopping problems worsening.

When I was given the chance therefore, to take the Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health Advocacy in the Workplace, I signed up immediately.

The course was made up of three units: exploring mental health; understanding how to support individuals with mental ill health; and promoting a mentally healthy environment.

The course documents were all sent to me to complete in my own time, over a period of four weeks before being submitted to the examiners for marking. The comprehensive course booklet contained all the information for each unit, and a series of questions then had to be answered in depth, to show an understanding of each unit.

I thoroughly enjoyed taking the course – which I passed – and feel like I am equipped to now spot any mental ill health issues in the workplace, which is incredibly important.

Like with physical first aid, mental health first aid is about providing initial care and support to someone in need. Now, being aware of the warning signs to look out for means that I can potentially relieve someone’s distress by offering comfort and reassurance, as well as signposting them to further professional help, if required.

In today’s society, with the amount of time people spend at work – and the increasing number of people experiencing work-related mental health problems – it’s important that businesses have the knowledge to create a mentally-healthy working environment.

Other members of the Scriba team have now also expressed interest in completing the course, to ensure we, as a unit, are equipped to look out for each other in our working lives. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact

Here’s to promoting and helping mental wellbeing, always.

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