Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust invests in mental health first aid training for staff
Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust has launched a trust-wide initiative to support the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff.
Staff from across the trust’s schools, St John Plessington Catholic College, St Mary’s Catholic College, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, St Bernard’s RC Primary and Nursery School, St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School and Our Lady of Pity Catholic Primary School, completed a two-day mental health first aid training course with Mental Health First Aid England.
At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary on the Wirral, three staff members, Clare Ward, teacher and SENDCo coordinator; Maria Langan, emotional literacy support assistant (ELSA); and Angie Finnegan, part of the school’s office team, all completed the training.
During the two-day course, staff developed a deeper understanding of mental health and gained the skills and confidence to spot the signs of mental health issues and offer first aid support in a crisis.
In mental health, early interventions can help speed up a young person’s recovery and even prevent a mental health issue from reaching a critical point.
Headteacher at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Mr Alex Turner, said: “For us to best support our pupils and staff, we must first be able to recognise the signs of mental health issues and understand how best to support them.
“According to Mental Health England, one in ten young people experience a mental health issue at any one time. Mental health and wellbeing is something we take very seriously, and we want to ensure we have the measures in place to best support our pupils.”
After completing the course, all colleagues received a nationally recognised qualification from Mental Health England.
The training forms part of a wider initiative to promote mental health and wellbeing.
Mr Turner noted that to best support pupils, staff must also feel supported with mental health issues. He said: “For staff to be the best possible versions of themselves, they also need support. We hope that our mental health first aiders will be more equipped to spot the early signs, offer first aid, and signpost pupils and staff to services that can offer more bespoke support.”
CEO of the Holy Family Multi Academy Trust, Andy Moor, echoed the importance of supporting students and staff with mental health issues. He said: “In the last three years, the likelihood of young people having a mental health problem has increased by 50%.
“Broken down, that equals around five children in a classroom of 30 experience mental health issues.
“Across the Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust, we have taken huge strides to ensure we have the skills, tools, and knowledge to best support our students and staff with mental health issues, going beyond signposting students to other services, but instead being able to provide safe and relevant support during a crisis.”