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My experience as a Mental Health First Aider

My experience as a Mental Health First Aider

My experience as a Mental Health First Aider

Following on from World Mental Health Awareness day and the wellbeing events held at IBB, I have been asked to share what I have learned and experienced as a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA).

“Recovery is likely and possible” is a phrase that was drummed into me on my course to becoming a qualified Mental Health First Aider. While I agree that this is true, sometimes looking to the future and suggesting what recovery might look like distracts us from the immediate need for support and help that comes with being a MHFA. For me, being that first response and dealing with the immediate situation before you, is the most important part of MHFA. After the immediate need is addressed, the MHFA’s can continue to act as a support network for those on the road to recovery.

As I understand it, Mental Health First Aid comes in all different forms. Sometimes, Mental Health First Aid is being a friendly face for a quiet chat and sometimes it is reminding people that support networks are available and pointing towards resources. These are just a few examples of the many situations mental health first aiders are taught to deal with and the different ways in which we can help.  Mental health support is not just available to those with poor mental health, our wellbeing is of utmost importance and maintaining a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally is crucial.

My decision to undertake this training was founded in the belief that discussions on mental health shouldn’t be something we shy away from, but is something that we should educate ourselves on. The course left me feeling confident in the way I spoke about mental health –  I felt as though I would no longer avoid discussions on mental health through fear of offending someone or not understanding its significance to the lives of many people.  Suffering from poor mental health can be an incredibly isolating experience, and one that is shrouded in shame and silence. If we do not talk about stigmatised experiences, how will we ever break the stigma?

About me

Maintaining a healthy balance between working and leisure is something that has always been important to me. Outside of work I like to keep active with swimming most mornings which I find helps to set me up for the day.

Since joining IBB I have enjoyed reading the Wellbeing updates on Hum Hub. Although before my start date, I thought the best in bloom competition, a sunflower growing competition was a great way to unite the firm after such a difficult 18 months. I am very much looking forward to getting involved in the future. I love the way IBB is encouraging us back into the office with informal pizza lunches for all our people, with an opportunity for partners to share some of their learning from their recent training “MHFA for managers”. I am already looking forward to the next event!


Scarlett Doyle is a Trainee Solicitor at IBB currently undertaking a seat in the Property Litigation team. Prior to joining IBB, she worked at Emirates National Bank of Dubai for two years in their in-house legal team and before that at Howard Kennedy for three years.