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Mental Health First Aiders in the Workplace

Are you scared to talk to someone about their mental health in case you say something wrong, or don’t say what you feel needs to be said?

That is a very common thought process and it usually comes from the fact we care about this person and want to be able to support them.

We all know Mental Health First Aid is high on everyone’s agenda and radar. And so looking at this from a business point of view, we have realised that for Purple Dog to be able to provide the best training possible in such an emotive subject, we need to be monitored and also offer our customers the opportunity of having both male and female tutors to deliver the courses.

Steven and myself have struggled with our mental health since being children. All those years ago, we as a society didn’t consider the lifelong struggles children would have as adults if they had been unable to process and talk about their feelings that started so young.

Nowadays we see the impact of childhood trauma and there are sessions specifically for children who struggle with their feelings and emotions in the form of Play Therapy. Aiming to stop these struggles before the child reaches puberty or adulthood.

Working under the Awarding Body Nuco Training Ltd, means you walk away with a recognised OFQUAL qualification giving you the credibility in your role as the First Aider for Mental Health in your workplace.

With so many courses and training companies delivering,  it can be difficult to choose a course and which course is right for you, so let me try and help.

1. Initially it is a question as to if you feel you can undertake this role with where you are at personally with your own mental health. Would you be able to (if required) listen if someone chooses to open up about their inner most thoughts and sometimes fears and discuss things that may shock and upset you?

2. Are you interested in mental health and wellbeing? Understanding there are key responsibilities you will be trained in. One of those is understanding the descriptions of conditions including anxiety, psychosis, eating disorders and schizophrenia.

3. Is this role is to be in the workplace, what will your responsibilities be? Is there a specific room for you to use? A set half day a week to have an open door session, or will it be appointments or will it be you are ‘on call’ for all of your time at work?

4. This should be a whole company investment into the mental and emotional wellbeing of those who work/volunteer or visit the site. So what support will you have from the company to be able to be the First Aider in the Workplace for Mental Health?

5. If there is already a Mental Health Policy and Procedure in place, do you think this is sufficient to be able to support you and your colleagues? If there isn’t one, would you be willing to help produce one that will be effective in its aims and workable at the same time?

6. How would you feel about having a difficult conversation where you are trying to establish if this person is thinking of harming themselves or others? Because this is something we have to do and must do to ensure everyone’s safety.

7. Lastly, are you the type of person who would take on board what has been said to you and carry it out of work and into your personal life as this can happen if you are too emotionally invested in the person or their story and you really can’t do that, it is not your journey- it is theirs.

After reading the 7 questions, it is now time to consider the right course for you, and that does depend on your role within the company.

Course 1 is the Awareness in First Aid for Mental Health, this is a basic 3 hour session that explains about the role of the first aider for mental health and your role in supporting them and their colleagues and yourself.

Course 2 is the First Aid for Mental Health Level 2 Award one day course. This is where we look at your role as that First Aider for Mental Health and the responsibilities that go with this. We also discuss a number of mental health conditions and the conversations and support available for your colleagues.

Course 3 is the Level 3 Award in Supervising Mental Health First Aid within the workplace. This is where we look at the responsibility of taking the lead in your organisation on Mental Health, looking at how this can be embedded into your workplace culture. We cover a number of mental health conditions, as well as looking at the Law, mental health in the workplace and recording of conversations that may have taken place.

The dates we have are face to face as well as virtual sessions (via Zoom). We deliver courses at our training room in The Chestnut Centre Huddersfield or alternatively can be run at your venue or delivered virtually if you have a number of people wanting to be trained.

Please go to our course page for upcoming dates and follow the instructions to book a place. If you would like any more information at all, please contact the office on (01484) 546780 or email Iain at

Coronavirus Covid-19 Interesting Fact

For those of you that know me (Helen) you know I like a good fact, however as I always add ‘it’s only as good as the day it was written and the people who contributed’

There is so much on media channels now it is scary. So, I thought these facts may make you go ‘ooooh righty’ and make you think- but not worry.

Teaching mental health first aid, this is the time it really is needed. People who are starting or are already struggling with their mental health will find this time particularly hard.

So check in with your friends daily- but through facetime, that way then you can see their facial expressions and really have that connection- you know what we all do with texts and emails… read as we are feeling, not as they are saying perhaps.

So, below are some facts- I like them, but I love a good fact!!

Please stay safe, emotionally as well as physically xx

Coronavirus Covid-19 Fascinating Facts

  1. We are told to cough into our elbow…. Why? Because a single cough can fire out over 3,000 droplets containing the virus (revolting). Knowing this helps you understand why hand washing is so important. Shaking hands should not be done and coughing into your elbow is a way to protect others around you.


2.  Dettol does say it kills Coronavirus which it does to a certain extent and we use this at home ourselves
However Dettol have said that it has ye to be tested on the COVID-19 strain.
You see Coronavirus has been around for a number of years and there are many viruses in this.
Bit like cars….. All the manufacturers have the different cars with different models and specifications under this brand name
Coronavirus is the same- that’s the brand…. Covid-19 is one virus under its name

3. And this is the big one, if we don’t do as we have been asked or more recently told, we are in fact potentially putting a death sentence on the lives who mean something to us. Our friends, our family and our neighbours- then the people we don’t know but the people who nevertheless do the selfless task of caring and supporting us when we are trying to breathe as our life ebbs away in hospital.


I have cried for the last 2 days, not filling up, not wailing- but real tears of pure sadness.

Sadness for the people I know and care about and value on the ICU wards at the hospitals- to think that I may not see them again if the disease grips them terrifies me, it really does.

Sadness for the businesses like ours, where we have put everything into making it a success for in the space of a week for it to pause like an emergency stop button has been pressed

Sadness for the people who felt the need to strip the shelves bare

Sadness for the people who need the food and can’t… because the shelves are bare……


I just hope that over these next few weeks things change and we see things improving. Till then, take care and keep well