Mental Health First Aiders Program

Mental Health First Aiders are an avenue of support where you can confidentially discuss your issues and receive advice on potential next steps. The mental health first aiders’ focus is prevention and early intervention; they also work to raise awareness of mental health issues. MHFAs are able to recognise the signs of mental ill health in the workplace, understand how to appropriately help and support TfNSW employees exhibiting signs of stress or mental ill health and appropriately and sensitively support TfNSW employees who may suffer from short term or ongoing mental health conditions. Any conversations between employees and MHFAs will be protected under a privacy and confidentiality agreement.

The MHFAs are supported with ongoing training and support, including completing the nationally recognised Mental Health First Aider Accreditation Program and peer support.

The Mental Health First Aider Fact Sheetpadlock provides information on the aims of the Mental Health First Aider Program. It gives an overview of the Mental Health First Aider role, as well as outlining the responsibilities and selection criteria to successfully volunteer for the role.

The Mental Health First Aider will support a mentally health workplace by focusing on:

  • Prevention: Helping staff to stay well and managing stress.
  • Early intervention: Spotting the signs of stress and poor mental health.
  • Raising awareness: Encouraging staff to talk about their mental health and supporting them to stay well at work and home.

Mental Health First Aider responsibilities:

  • Recognise signs and symptoms of mental health concerns and make a judgment when to offer support.
  • Make contact with someone they feel is mentally unwell and initiate follow up conversations as required.
  • Listen and be supportive when approached by an employee to discuss a mental health issue.
  • Encourage employees to seek professional help, appropriate referral pathways and /or self-help strategies, should they require it.
  • Be an advocate for mental health awareness – doing non-crisis related work that will build awareness, reduce stigma in the workplace and make others more comfortable to approach them.
  • Maintain accreditation in Mental Health First Aid and participate in education/awareness activities related the role of MHFA.
  • Be able to maintain confidentiality as appropriate.
  • Notify MHFA Coordinator and relevant manager of situations involving:
    • risk to self/others
    • critical incidents and
    • Code of Conduct or ethical breaches

Transport for NSW recognises and respects the privacy of information relating to individuals who have a conversation with a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA). All MHFAs receive formal training and are obligated to treat all matters discussed sensitively and privately in accordance with Transport for NSW’s confidentiality protocols. What this means is that any matters discussed with a MHFA will remain private, and will not be discussed with others within or outside of the workplace, unless consent has been provided by the individual.

There are, however, some limits to confidentiality. If, at any time, the MHFA assesses that there may be risk of harm to the individual or others, they will escalate the matter using appropriate channels. In the event of an urgent risk, emergency services will be contacted immediately.

To become a Mental Health First Aider you are required to meet the selection criteria and participate in the selection process. This is then followed by a two-day training course in Mental Health First Aid and regular peer consultation and development activities.

The criteria that a TfNSW staff member will be required to meet to become a Mental Health First Aider include the following:

  • Have a keen interest in mental health issues.
  • Demonstrate an ability to relate well to other employees.
  • Have their manager’s support.

Alignment to the above criteria will be assessed throughout the selection process, which involves:

  • Expression of Interest (EOI) application.
  • Reference check .
  • Workplace conduct check.
  • Fraud and Corruption check.
  • An interview may also be included to facilitate the section process.

The Mental Health First Aider Contact Directorypadlockprovides the details of all of our current trained and certified volunteer staff who are available to everyone at Transport for NSW. They are an avenue of support for you to be able to confidentially discuss any issues and concerns that impact your mental wellbeing.

Along with completing an accredited Mental Health First Aid course, Mental Health First Aiders receive ongoing training throughout the duration of their volunteering both in digital and face-to-face formats. This is also supplemented with various channels of support including becoming part of a network, access to a collaboration platform, access to a toolkit, EAP support and TfNSW People team support.

Training and education

Mental Health First Aiders are required to complete a two-day course for which they will receive certification as a Mental Health First Aid officer. TfNSW will also supplement this training to provide training and education on topics and skills relevant to the role.

EAP Support

All Mental Health First Aiders participate in individual support sessions provided by Benestar once a quarter for the first year, to help them navigate through any difficulties, answer any questions they may have and ensure they are looking after their own mental wellness. Benestar support will then be available on an ‘as-needs’ basis that can be initiated by the individual.

Network

There are already a number of Mental Health First Aiders in TfNSW, and this number is growing. A network will be established to facilitate information sharing, peer support and as a forum to identify any emerging patterns or trends that may need to be addressed at an organisational level. Network meetings will also be used to facilitate further learning through presentations, workshops and speakers.

Coordinator

A TfNSW People team member will coordinate the Mental Health First Aider program. This person will be the contact for any enquiries, and will be responsible for managing quarterly meetings, logistics, monitoring of collaboration platforms/toolkits and providing overall support to the program.

Portal

All Mental Health First Aiders will have access to an online platform for the purposes of knowledge sharing and collaboration. This portal has resources including webinars, information on mental health topics, as well as a toolkit containing information such as referral processes, legal and reporting obligations, roles and responsibilities, contact lists and information on where to go to for assistance.

Coming Soon

We are currently building the portal and it will soon be available to the TfNSW Mental Health First Aider. The Mental Health First Aider Portal is designed as a resource for any of our current TfNSW Mental Health First Aiders to be able to share knowledge, access resources and provide peer support.

Mental Health First Aiders are an avenue of support where you can confidentially discuss your issues and receive advice on potential next steps. The mental health first aiders’ focus is prevention and early intervention; they also work to raise awareness of mental health issues. MHFAs are able to recognise the signs of mental ill health in the workplace, understand how to appropriately help and support TfNSW employees exhibiting signs of stress or mental ill health and appropriately and sensitively support TfNSW employees who may suffer from short term or ongoing mental health conditions. Any conversations between employees and MHFAs will be protected under a privacy and confidentiality agreement.

The MHFAs are supported with ongoing training and support, including completing the nationally recognised Mental Health First Aider Accreditation Program and peer support.

The Mental Health First Aider Fact Sheetpadlock provides information on the aims of the Mental Health First Aider Program. It gives an overview of the Mental Health First Aider role, as well as outlining the responsibilities and selection criteria to successfully volunteer for the role.

The Mental Health First Aider will support a mentally health workplace by focusing on:

  • Prevention: Helping staff to stay well and managing stress.
  • Early intervention: Spotting the signs of stress and poor mental health.
  • Raising awareness: Encouraging staff to talk about their mental health and supporting them to stay well at work and home.

Mental Health First Aider responsibilities:

  • Recognise signs and symptoms of mental health concerns and make a judgment when to offer support.
  • Make contact with someone they feel is mentally unwell and initiate follow up conversations as required.
  • Listen and be supportive when approached by an employee to discuss a mental health issue.
  • Encourage employees to seek professional help, appropriate referral pathways and /or self-help strategies, should they require it.
  • Be an advocate for mental health awareness – doing non-crisis related work that will build awareness, reduce stigma in the workplace and make others more comfortable to approach them.
  • Maintain accreditation in Mental Health First Aid and participate in education/awareness activities related the role of MHFA.
  • Be able to maintain confidentiality as appropriate.
  • Notify MHFA Coordinator and relevant manager of situations involving:
    • risk to self/others
    • critical incidents and
    • Code of Conduct or ethical breaches

Transport for NSW recognises and respects the privacy of information relating to individuals who have a conversation with a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA). All MHFAs receive formal training and are obligated to treat all matters discussed sensitively and privately in accordance with Transport for NSW’s confidentiality protocols. What this means is that any matters discussed with a MHFA will remain private, and will not be discussed with others within or outside of the workplace, unless consent has been provided by the individual.

There are, however, some limits to confidentiality. If, at any time, the MHFA assesses that there may be risk of harm to the individual or others, they will escalate the matter using appropriate channels. In the event of an urgent risk, emergency services will be contacted immediately.

To become a Mental Health First Aider you are required to meet the selection criteria and participate in the selection process. This is then followed by a two-day training course in Mental Health First Aid and regular peer consultation and development activities.

The criteria that a TfNSW staff member will be required to meet to become a Mental Health First Aider include the following:

  • Have a keen interest in mental health issues.
  • Demonstrate an ability to relate well to other employees.
  • Have their manager’s support.

Alignment to the above criteria will be assessed throughout the selection process, which involves:

  • Expression of Interest (EOI) application.
  • Reference check .
  • Workplace conduct check.
  • Fraud and Corruption check.
  • An interview may also be included to facilitate the section process.

The Mental Health First Aider Contact Directorypadlockprovides the details of all of our current trained and certified volunteer staff who are available to everyone at Transport for NSW. They are an avenue of support for you to be able to confidentially discuss any issues and concerns that impact your mental wellbeing.

Along with completing an accredited Mental Health First Aid course, Mental Health First Aiders receive ongoing training throughout the duration of their volunteering both in digital and face-to-face formats. This is also supplemented with various channels of support including becoming part of a network, access to a collaboration platform, access to a toolkit, EAP support and TfNSW People team support.

Training and education

Mental Health First Aiders are required to complete a two-day course for which they will receive certification as a Mental Health First Aid officer. TfNSW will also supplement this training to provide training and education on topics and skills relevant to the role.

EAP Support

All Mental Health First Aiders participate in individual support sessions provided by Benestar once a quarter for the first year, to help them navigate through any difficulties, answer any questions they may have and ensure they are looking after their own mental wellness. Benestar support will then be available on an ‘as-needs’ basis that can be initiated by the individual.

Network

There are already a number of Mental Health First Aiders in TfNSW, and this number is growing. A network will be established to facilitate information sharing, peer support and as a forum to identify any emerging patterns or trends that may need to be addressed at an organisational level. Network meetings will also be used to facilitate further learning through presentations, workshops and speakers.

Coordinator

A TfNSW People team member will coordinate the Mental Health First Aider program. This person will be the contact for any enquiries, and will be responsible for managing quarterly meetings, logistics, monitoring of collaboration platforms/toolkits and providing overall support to the program.

Portal

All Mental Health First Aiders will have access to an online platform for the purposes of knowledge sharing and collaboration. This portal has resources including webinars, information on mental health topics, as well as a toolkit containing information such as referral processes, legal and reporting obligations, roles and responsibilities, contact lists and information on where to go to for assistance.

Coming Soon

We are currently building the portal and it will soon be available to the TfNSW Mental Health First Aider. The Mental Health First Aider Portal is designed as a resource for any of our current TfNSW Mental Health First Aiders to be able to share knowledge, access resources and provide peer support.