National award nomination for Mental Health First Aid

A team of five staff from Nottingham Trent University's Student Support Services has been nominated for a national Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Award, in recognition of its exemplary work in the field of mental health.

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An NTU team has been nominated for an award for its mental health training

A team of five staff from Nottingham Trent University's Student Support Services has been nominated for a national Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Award, in recognition of its exemplary work in the field of mental health.

The winners will be presented with their certificates by Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, Patron of MHFA England, at the prestigious House of Lords on Wednesday 25 February.

The team, made up of Sarah Bustard, Diana Niemz, Robeena Ahmad, Sharon Villa and Alison Bromberg, offers training to staff at Nottingham Trent University to understand, recognise and support those students experiencing mental health difficulties.

The internationally recognised and MHFA-accredited training is delivered over a two-day course to a wide range of academics, support staff and professional services colleagues. A three-hour MHFA Lite version is also offered for those who are unable to commit more time.

To date, 102 staff at the University have attended the two-day MHFA training.

A further 109 staff, 52 student residence assistants, 42 Student Union Welcome Week representatives, and 42 student residence staff have attended MHFA Lite.

Alison Bromberg, Student Support Services Manager, said the training benefitted the staff taking part as well as the students they ultimately help.

"Tutors can often be the first people students will turn to so increasing their understanding and confidence in responding to students in distress is really positive," she said. "It also helps to improve their knowledge of the referral process to Student Support Services."

Mental ill health affects one in four people in the UK and is often not disclosed due to the stigma that continues to be attached to it. This training breaks down the barriers which prevent people from seeking help and gives people the ability to assist someone who is experiencing mental distress.

Alison added: "People who attend the training have told us it has given them the confidence to talk to students and ask them how they are feeling. It also has an inevitable positive effect on the mental wellbeing of staff who gain personally as well as professionally from the training."

Tutors can often be the first people students will turn to so increasing their understanding is really positive.

Alison Bromberg, Student Support Services Manager


It was team member Sharon Villa who decided to put the group forward for the Organisational Champion Award.

This is the fifth year that MHFA England has held the awards which identify examples of excellent projects and individuals, acknowledging innovation and high performance in raising mental health literacy across England.

Poppy Jaman, CEO for MHFA England said: "Since our last National Awards in February 2014 we have trained 20,000 more Mental Health First Aiders in England and this is only possible through the fantastic work that is done by our team of 1,000 MHFA Instructors who are working across the country to teach these life-saving skills.

"I would like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who works on behalf of MHFA for their continued passion and dedication towards improving mental health awareness and creating a society that is better equipped to support each other's mental health. I would also like to offer my thanks to our patron, Lord Patel, for hosting this event once again."

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Kirsty Green, Press and Public Affairs Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8799, or via email.

    For further information about the MHFA Awards 2015 please contact Eleanor Miller via email or telephone +44 (0)20 8224 1144

    • MHFA England is a Community Interest Company, established in 2009.
    • MHFA is the mental health equivalent of physical First Aid training and provides participants with the skills and confidence to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues and effectively guide a person towards the right support services.
    • To date over 85,000 people in the UK are Mental Health First Aid trained.
    • The core principles of MHFA include: spotting the signs of a mental health problem, helping to stop the distress from getting worse and give confidence in helping someone who is experiencing a problem.
    • As well as the standard MHFA course, the organisation runs a number of bespoke courses including Youth MHFA, MHFA Lite, Armed Forces MHFA and MHFA Workplace.
    • More information about MHFA England and its courses can be found on the website or by emailing.

National award nomination for Mental Health First Aid

Published on 2 February 2015
  • Category: Press

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