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TRS Training trains two mental health first aiders to support apprentices

TRS has strengthened safeguarding support for apprentices. Two members of staff have completed comprehensive training in mental health awareness.

Lee Johnston and Sadie Douglas are both now holders of a Level 2 qualification. Their course of study focused on understanding mental health first aid and mental health advocacy in the workplace.

Sadie is currently preparing to assume the role of safeguarding officer. As the skills co-ordinator at TRS Training, she says the course has equipped her with a well-rounded understanding and awareness of mental health. Sadie explains:

“The course has given me an insight into acting in a preventative way when it comes to mental health. For example, I now know that apprentices and colleagues might not actually realise they are struggling emotionally.Consequently, I’ve learned to spot the signs and get apprentices the help they need promptly. The new skills are just as useful to help my colleagues.”

Early signs of mental stress

Mental health first aid training equips attendees with spotting the early signs of mental stresses, looking beyond presuming people are overworked or can’t adapt. Sadie adds:

“I’ve learnt to look at all factors in somebody’s life. Importantly mental health issues at work can start with pressures at home. We want TRS apprentices to be aware that there is help available. I often work wellbeing issues into the work we set them in English lessons. Topics could be domestic abuse, cyber bullying or other things from the wellbeing calendar. Above all, doing this helps nurture a culture of caring.”

The course Sadie completed was with Learning Curve. Along withexploring mental health, the course covers supporting individuals and promoting a mentally healthy environment. Participants return to work with advocacy skills to boost safeguarding at work. The course comprises online training, group work and completing a workbook. Sadie and Lee completed their training during the first national lockdown.

The new skills Sadie has have already kicked in. Sadie spotted that an apprentice on furlough had a shift in personality. Sadie rapidly put in place a support package especially for her. As a result, the student maintained focus during long periods at home on her own. It’s excellent news that the logistics worker is back in her job and thriving.

Apprentices aware of support

The TRS One File dashboard is now updated, so all apprentices are aware of the support available. Alongside this, there is a list of sources of help. Sadie is continually updating the One File notice board, focusing on highlighting regional support for the TRS apprentices across the UK. TRS apprentices and staff who feel they need some support can reach out to Sadie directly or speak to any other TRS staff member.