Mental Health Awareness: Unity5’s Mental Health First Aiders

Calm water

Supporting our mental wellbeing

At Unity5 we are immensely proud of our motivated, inclusive and supportive family-oriented team culture. It defines how we do things, how we engage with one another, internally and externally. Underpinning all we do is care. We care for our customers, our colleagues and our communities. We foster a collective sense of friendship, respect and support for one another, connecting us as a team.

Unity5 has trained two of our staff as Mental Health First Aiders to support our staff and embed our caring culture within our team. Our Onboarding and Implementation Specialist, Ben Travess and our Head of Compliance, Shannon Moody, kindly volunteered to be trained as our mental health first aiders.

Mental Health First Aid Programme

The Mental Health First Aid programme first started in Australia in 2000. It was then developed in the UK by the Department of Health: National Institute of Mental Health in England (NIMHE). Mental health first aiders in the UK play a vital role in supporting individuals experiencing mental health difficulties. The growth of mental health first aiders has significantly contributed to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health in the UK. As a result, there is now more understanding of mental health issues within our society. 

Unity5’s Mental Health First Aiders

Ben and Shannon have been trained to provide initial help and support to staff in need, just as traditional first aiders do for physical health emergencies. Ben and Shannon are trained to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and stress, and are equipped with the skills to offer practical assistance, listen non-judgmentally, and provide appropriate referrals for professional help if necessary.

By offering a compassionate and empathetic ear, our mental health first aiders can create a safe space for members of staff to open up about their struggles, fostering a sense of trust and connection that can be crucial for someone facing mental health challenges.

Ben and Shannon are not expected to provide professional therapy or counselling but are trained to offer immediate support and help individuals access appropriate resources for their specific needs. With their knowledge and understanding, Ben and Shannon contribute to our compassionate and inclusive culture by ensuring that mental health is taken as seriously as physical health.

At Unity5, we celebrate our successes and support each other in times of hardship. As a team, we aim to grow through all of our experiences together.

Unity5 offer all of our staff the option to join our private healthcare scheme via Vitality. The Vitality service offers our team another option for mental health & well-being advice.

If you’d like to know more about training to become a Mental Health First Aider visit

Here are some useful resources from Ben:

Andy’s Man Club

First Response – Crisis Self-Referral 

0300 555 5000 

Press Opt 2, Opt 2. 

Anyone can call for themselves or for another person. However, they will require consent to speak on behalf of the other individual. This is a secondary mental health service so not everyone will be directed through to the Mental Health Team, you could get signposted for another service.

Talkworks (A Devon support service)

0300 555 3344

Together – Drug and Alcohol Service

0800 233 5444

There is now a service which should be set up in every GP surgery called the PCN MH Team (Primary Care Network Mental Health Team). This can be accessed by contacting your local GP and asking to be seen by the PCN team. They offer 6 sessions (one a week) and also have the ability to refer to other specialist services in both primary and secondary care.

Unity5’s mental health first aiders: Shannon Moody | Ben Travess

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