Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) in School
Who are the Mental Health First Aiders at Castle Hill ?
The role of Mental Health First Aiders at Castle Hill
We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Mental ill health can strike at any time and can affect people from all walks of life.
Although things are improving, stigma still exists around mental ill health. As a society, we don't tend to know how to take care of our mental health like we do our physical health. This means that people may not know how to support a friend, family member or colleague experiencing a mental health issue, or where to go for help with their own mental health.
At Castle Hill we have staff trained as both Youth MHFA's and Adult MHFA's to support our pupil, our staff and our parents.
MHFAs are skilled in understanding how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental health issues in young people/adults and have the confidence to guide the young person/adult to a place of support.
The role of the MHFAs is to act as a point of contact for the person who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction could range from having an initial conversation through to guiding a person to get appropriate support.
- MHFAs are invaluable in providing early intervention to help a young person who may be developing a mental health issue
- MHFAs are not trained to be therapists or psychiatrists but they can offer initial support through non-judgemental listening, reassurance and guidance
- MHFAs are encouraged to take on a role as a mental health advocate within their school to encourage adoption of approaches to ‘whole school’ wellbeing and to build on such approaches that may already be in place
MHFAs are trained to:
- Spot the early signs and symptoms of mental ill health in young people
- Start a supportive conversation with a young person who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress
- Listen to a person non-judgmentally
- Assess the risk of suicide and self-harm in a person
- Guide the person to access appropriate professional support or self-help strategies
- Escalate to the appropriate emergency services if necessary
- Maintain confidentiality, as appropriate
- Protect themselves whilst performing their role
How to get help
MHFAiders® are a point of contact if you, or someone you are concerned about, are experiencing poor mental health or emotional distress. They are not therapists or psychiatrists but they can give you initial support and signpost you to appropriate help if required.
If you have any questions about Mental Health First Aid at Castle Hill High School please contact any of the MHFA staff, either face to face, group email or individual email. You can speak to any member of the MHFA team -
Drop in sessions (Pupils and Staff) - Wellbeing Wednesdays