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Castle Hill High School

Mental Health First Aiders - for pupils

The Role of Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) in School

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.

Youth MHFAs are skilled in understanding how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental health issues in young people and have the confidence to guide the young person to a place of support. 

The role of the Youth MHFAs is to act as a point of contact for the young person who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction could range from having an initial conversation through to guiding a young person to get appropriate support.

  • Youth MHFAs are invaluable in providing early intervention to help a young person who may be developing a mental health issue
  • Youth MHFAs are not trained to be therapists or psychiatrists but they can offer initial support through non-judgemental listening, reassurance and guidance 
  • Youth 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  

Youth 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 young person non-judgmentally
  • Assess the risk of suicide and self-harm in a young person 
  • Guide the young 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  

Who are Castle Hill's MHFAs?