NEARLY a dozen staff members at a Somerset learning trust took part in training to become mental health first aiders on Thursday, June 16.

A total of 11 Wessex Learning Trust staff members met at Wedmore First School to take part in the training, bringing the overall number of trained staff across the trust to 28.

The course was led by Jon Wood from Headmatters.

The training helps ensure that every member of staff working across the trust's schools have access to key mental health support and first aid when they need it.

The network of trained staff members will meet throughout the year to ensure they are supported and can support each other, as well as providing support in their own settings.

This session comes as part of the Wessex Learning Trust's ongoing commitment to supporting staff wellbeing.

A number of other services are aoffered by the trust, including a 24/7 confidential staff counselling and support line and a dedicated wellbeing resource page on the staff intranet.

The mental health first aiders training programme provides staff with the knowledge and confidence to provide mental health first aid for the most common mental health issues and builds their understanding of creating a healthy workspace, challenging stigma, and supporting positive wellbeing.

Trust chief executive Gavin Ball said: “I am incredibly proud to see so many of our staff coming forward to take part in mental health first aider training.

“Education is such a rewarding industry to work in, but as with any job there are times when everyone needs some support.

“I hope that our newest mental health first aiders are therefore now equipped to offer that key support in our schools, so as to ensure that all our staff can be supported and know that there is always someone looking out for them.”

The trust would like to thank Jon from Headmatters and its staff members for taking part in the valuable training.