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Frequently Asked Question

hs-helpdesk@qmul.ac.ukFAQ's from an end user

How do I request to speak to a Mental Health First Aider?

There are a few ways you can make contact with a Mental Health First Aider:

First aider list: Contact a mental health first aider directly. Access the list here

Call Security: Call Security (contact details can be found at: http://www.security.qmul.ac.uk/Contact%20Us/index.html) and request a mental health first aider. They will then ask for your contact details so that the Mental Health First Aider can contact you shortly or attend the crisis situation.

Local Mental Health First Aiders: You may have a local Mental Health First Aider working within your School/Institute/Directorate. Look out for signage displayed, information at the bottom of people’s signatures or details on your intranet or handbooks.

Contact Mental Health First Aid Instructors: If you have exhausted the above options, please contact either Suzanne Mason (s.t.mason@qmul.ac.uk) or Megan Vagg (m.vagg@qmul.ac.uk). Please note Suzanne and Megan are not always in the office so it could take up to 3 working days for a response.

I don’t want to speak to a Mental Health First Aider in my School/Institute/Directorate, can I speak to a Mental Health First Aider from another area?

First aider list: Contact a mental health first aider directly. Access the list here

Call Security: Call Security (contact details can be found at: http://www.security.qmul.ac.uk/Contact%20Us/index.html) and request a mental health first aider. They will then ask for your contact details so that the Mental Health First Aider can contact you shortly. Explain that you do not want to speak to somebody from your School/Institute/Directorate.

Look out information at the bottom of people’s signatures such as ‘I’m a Mental Health First Aider’ or ‘Ask me about Mental Health First Aid’.

Contact MHFA Instructors: If you have exhausted the above options, please contact either Suzanne Mason (s.t.mason@qmul.ac.uk ext 6948) or Megan Vagg (m.vagg@qmul.ac.uk ext 8968). Please note Suzanne and Megan are not always in the office so it could take up to 3 working days for a response.

I don’t have a diagnosed mental health condition, can I still speak to a Mental Health First Aider?

Yes, the aim of Mental Health First Aid is to recognise signs and symptoms of mental health issues arising before they become a diagnosable condition. No matter how minor you think the issue may be, Mental Health First Aiders are trained to listen and provide support in a non-judgmental way.

I feel like if I speak to a Mental Health First Aider they will think I’m being silly and say my problem is not that big. Is this true?

No, this is not true. Mental Health First Aiders are trained to be non-judgmental. Mental ill-health, including stress affects us all differently and Mental Health First Aiders are aware of this. No problem would be regarded as silly or minor – what you feel is real to you and Mental Health First Aiders will recognise that.

Will my conversation with a Mental Health First Aider be recorded or shared?

Conversations you have with a Mental Health First Aider are strictly confidential, unless there is a risk of harm to you or other individuals in which case immediate support may be required. A Mental Health First Aider will submit a form each time they use their skills and this may contain brief details of the conversation such as topics of concern (e.g. work related stress, relationships) and your Faculty/PS area (e.g. HSS – School of English and Drama), however no personal details are recorded (e.g. names, age, specific details). The importance of confidentiality is stressed in the training that Mental Health First Aiders receive. If you have any questions about the recording process, please contact hs-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk.

Where will I meet the Mental Health First Aider?

This is at yours and the designated Mental Health First Aiders discretion. You may not find it comfortable to meet in an office or working environment. Try to suggest having a walk around campus, or meeting in a communal or common space.

What can I do if I do not get on with the Mental Health First Aider I speak to?

If you did not connect with the Mental Health First Aider or feel like you got on with them, it is recommended that you try to speak with a different Mental Health First Aider. Mental Health First Aiders are aware that this situation may arise and will understand.

What if I need Mental Health First Aid assistance out of normal office hours?

Call Security (contact details can be found at: http://www.security.qmul.ac.uk/Contact%20Us/index.html) who will have staff trained in Mental Health First Aid.

I have not been able to source a mental health first aider, what do I do?

There are a range of other companies and charities you can contact:

Samaritans

Telephone: 116 123

Email: jo@samaritans.org

Website: www.samaritans.org

NHS

Telephone: 111

Website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/

Workplace Options

Telephone: 0800 243 458

Email: assistance@workplaceoptions.com

Website: www.workplaceoptions.co.uk (username: queenmary password: employee)

Poor mental ill-health is more common than you think, never suffer in silence.


FAQ's - Training Course

What is the difference between the Adult Mental Health Aware Half Day and Adult MHFA Two Day

 The Adult Mental Health Aware Half Day is a four-hour introduction course to mental health. It is a light touch introduction to anyone who may be interested in finding out more. It is not designed to be an in-depth training course, but provides an overview of what you may encounter in the work or study place and how to look after your mental health.

The Adult MHFA Two Day teaches techniques to provide help to someone (staff or students) experiencing a mental health problem before professional help is obtained. It is in-depth and provides delegates with the skills required to be MHFAiders and be called upon if required for pro-active or reactive involvement. It is for people who are willing to take on this responsibility, as well as promoting mental health and wellbeing in their departments.

Do I need prior knowledge of mental health to attend the Adult MHFA Two Day?

No prior knowledge is not required, but an interest in the subject is strongly advisable.

Why do I have to apply for the Adult MHFA Two Day?

Due to the high number of staff interested in this course, as well as a long waiting list and the limited number of spaces available for each session that we run, we have to ensure those wishing to attend can commit to the course requirements both during and after the course.

How do I book for the courses?

For the Adult MHFA Two Day, please book via MyHR (see Question 25 on how to book).

There is at present a high demand for this course so if you can’t book, please email hs-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk and your name will be added to the waiting list.

For the course Adult Mental Health Aware Half Day, book through CPD https://www.esdcourses.org.uk/userlistcourse.php and look for Adult Mental Health Aware Half Day or search for course code HS044

I am unable to book onto the Adult MHFA Two Day, what should I do?

This may be due to the course being oversubscribed, please email hs-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk

Is the training free?

At present both courses are free and open to QMUL staff only. But we will ask you or your department to contribute £40 if you do not attend the training without reasonable notice or explanation. 

Why does my line manager have to approve my attendance at the Adult MHFA Two Day? 

Due to the training being a two day course and because of the commitment involved after the training is complete, your line manager will need to be aware so you can both balance the day-to-day working requirements while you are on the course and after the course.

I can do one day of the Adult MHFA Two Day, but not the other, can I still attend?

No, you must attend both days for the entire duration of the day.

Can I do the first day of the course and then the second day of the two-day course another time?

No, you must attend both days for the entire duration of the day.

I have to leave early on one of the days, can I still attend?

No, you must attend both days for the entire duration of the day. Some exceptions can be made to attend from 09.30-16.30 each day. Please contact hs-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk to discuss.

I have an existing mental health condition, can I still attend?

You may apply to attend the course, but please be mindful that the course can be emotionally demanding and can evoke strong feelings, especially for delegates who are currently experiencing or supporting mental-ill health. If you have any concerns or queries please feel free to email hs-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk with FAQ 11 in the subject line to discuss the best option for you.

More than eight of us from one department want to apply for the same course, are we able to?

Bespoke sessions can be run on request so if your department has more than 8 members who can do the training, please email hs-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk to discuss if a session can be organised for your department.

Please note the maximum number of attendees is 16.

When will I hear if my application has been successful?

You will receive a confirmation email providing your line manager has accepted your training request on MyHR. Please note the email will read:

** Training Request Accepted **

Dear _______

Your training request for Mental Health First Aid (2 Day) has been accepted ( Dates ________ - ________).

Health and Safety Directorate

Can my manager and I both attend the same course?

Yes, however this is a decision that you and your manager will have to take and discuss together to ensure it is operationally feasible. You will also have to decide whether you will both be able to participate freely together on the course. 

What if I know people on my course and don’t feel I can fully participate?

We will send joining instructions to all delegates at least one week prior to the start date of the course. You will have an opportunity to see a list of names (in the mailing list) and decide if you would like to go ahead or be moved onto another course.

Do I have to supply my own materials?

You will need to bring a pen and a notepad.

A course manual and workbook are provided for both the Adult MHFA Two Day and the Adult Mental Health Aware Half Day

When will I receive my certificate?

You will receive your certificate via email one month after the course. It could take longer in some cases. Please note MHFA is experiencing delay in sending these out.

What do I do if I don’t get my certificate?

For the Adult Mental Health Aware Half Day, please email ers@qmul.ac.uk with your name, email address and the date you attended the course

For the Adult MHFA Two Day, please email hs-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk with your name, email address and the date you attended the course.

What happens after the Adult MHFA Two Day course?

You will be added to the QMPlus Mental Health First Aid Module. The Module will be used to communicate updates, news and useful resources around the mental health topic. We want to ensure you feel supported as a Mental Health First Aider following the completion of the two day course. You will be encouraged to display signage in your local area, alongside that of physical first aiders.

You will also be added to the list of College-wide MHFAiders which will be circulated to relevant safety coordinators.

Once a term there will be a support session with Niall Morrissey, Mental Health Coordinator, to discuss any difficult conversations you may have had. This will be an opportunity for others to share their own experiences and practice.

Is there refresher training?

There is currently no refresher training, however one of the MHFA trainers organises termly forums with MHFAiders to share learning and best practice.

MHFA is also in the process of creating a refresher training but there is at present no date as to when this will be available.

You are still a MHFAider and your skills are still essential. We encourage you to attend the termly forums to maintain the knowledge. You do not know when you may be called upon personally or professionally.

What happens if no-one contacts me in my role as MHFAider?

You are still a MHFAider and your skills are still essential. We encourage you to attend the termly forums to maintain the knowledge. You do not know when you may be called upon personally or professionally.

What should I do if I am unable to be a MHFAider for personal or professional reasons? Can I step down?

This is not ideal, however we do appreciate life and work commitments mean that you are not able to do this. If you need to step down, please email hs-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk to be removed from the list.

How is my interaction as a MHFAider recorded?

An online form is being designed in order to measure the impact of the training on both MHFAiders and the University in general. 

I have lost my manual, can I get another one?

Yes, you can get a replacement manual for a fee of £30 for the Adult MHFA Two Day and £15 for the Adult Mental Health Aware Half Day.

How do I book the Adult MHFA Two Day through MyHR?

  • Please log onto MyHR: https://myhr.qmul.ac.uk/live/Portal/index.xsp
  • Select Training Request on left hand-side of the screen
  • Scroll down the page and click Request Training on the bottom right hand-side
  • Into Keyword type Mental Health then click Search [far right]
  • Click on Mental Health First Aid (2 Day), you will then be given a list of dates in which to choose from.
  • Scroll down the page and click on the date, then click Submit

 You will be sent joining instructions closer to the date.

If the course is already fully booked, please email hs-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk to be added to the waiting list.

Should you have any questions, please email hs-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk

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