Mental Health Awareness Week: First Aid Training

15th May 2023

Members of our Music Delivery and Fundraising teams recently completed their Mental Health First Aid training with Starra Education’s Joanne Docherty, a fully accredited mental health trainer and advocate based in Glasgow. The training equips staff with the ability to respond to mental health emergencies quickly and sensitively.

Delivered completely online, the training programme took place in a virtual classroom. Composed of various training modules, reflection exercises and support mechanisms, Starra Education’s initiative has educated delegates in how to support people experiencing mental health difficulties.

Joanne said: “What an honour it was for me to start the year qualifying staff and trustees from Music in Hospitals & Care, from all over the UK, as accredited Mental Health First Aiders.

As part of the qualification, I conducted one-to-one assessments and what was clear from speaking to everyone individually was how supported and looked after they feel in their roles.

I have been thoroughly impressed with the positive mental health culture throughout the organisation, and the genuine commitment to staff wellbeing and professional development is commendable.”

Using her lived experiences as a child who experienced significant trauma, Joanne was inspired to train as a mental health educator. After earning an honours degree in Education, she worked as a teacher in Glasgow and then completed an MSc in Child Psychology. In addition to leading training initiatives such as Mental Health First Aid, Joanne also teaches across a range of Psychology courses at The University of Glasgow.

Our Head of Music Delivery Claire Owen said: “Arts and health is a sector which has been under immense pressure and will continue to face challenges in the coming years. Joanne ensured we felt comfortable in our class group as well as individually in our assessments. This helped us to feel confident that in challenging times we can continue to meet the demands of our roles, creating meaningful music services whilst looking after ourselves and the people we work with.

We are proud to have trained staff across the charity who can offer initial support to people experiencing a mental health problem until professional help is received or until the crisis is resolved.”

Find out more about Starra Education here.

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