Mental Health Champion Network
Our Commitment to Staff Health & Wellbeing
Edinburgh Napier we are committed to ensuring our workplace is an inclusive,
safe and supportive environment where health and wellbeing is at the heart of
our culture. We have a commitment to creating a
working environment where staff feel that they can openly discuss their health
and wellbeing and can access the right support at the right time.
Mental Health Champion Network
May 2020 we were pleased to launch the Mental Health Champions Network. Our
trained Mental Health Champions are a point of contact for colleagues who are
experiencing mental health issues or are in emotional distress, helping them
get the appropriate support they need as quickly as possible.
of our Champions have undertaken the Scottish Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA)
and/or the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Course and any
colleague wishing to become a Champion must undertake one of these
*How to contact a
Mental Health Champion*
Mental Health Champions are a point of contact for a colleaugue who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress,
helping the person get appropriate help, and provide early intervention for
someone who may be developing a mental health issue. A Mental Health
Champion is not expected to act as a counsellor or therapist but can
provide a listening ear and signpost to appropriate help and support.
If a colleague
wishes to speak to a Mental Health Champion, they can choose who they wish to
speak to from the list below of colleagues who have undergone training to be a
Champion and who are happy to help.
The contact details of the Champions are listed here: Mental Health Champion Campus List.docx
contact the Champion through the preferred method and the Champion may suggest
they meet on campus in a comfortable environment or speak to them on the phone/over
Our Champions have
guidelines to follow to ensure they know how to support the colleague in need
Our Mental Health
Champions have volunteered to be Champions as they wish to provide support and
advice and are committed to breaking down the stigma around mental health.
Colleagues should be
confident approaching the Champions if they are in emotional distress.
Who can become a Mental Health Champion?
Colleagues who have completed the
12-hour Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA) course and/or the Applied
Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) course and received the completion
certificate can volunteer to become a Champion. Those who have completed one or
both courses are asked if they wish to become a volunteer and have their name
and details added to the Campus Champion list.
What is a Mental
As well as providing a listening ear to colleagues in
emotional distress or experiencing a mental health challenge, the Mental Health
Champions also take action to raise awareness of mental health problems amongst
colleagues, challenges mental health stigma, and provides peer support to
Why do we need
We all have mental
health just as we have physical health and some people may experience problems,
some may be minor and temporary while some may be serious and all consuming.
Mental health problems are very common with 1 in 4 people experiencing poor
mental health in any year, meaning that most people are likely to know someone who
has personal experience of mental health problems within their family, friendship
or work circles.
We know that the vast majority of absences from work are related to
mental health problems including those connected to workplace stress. The
university is committed to reducing the number of mental health problems connected
to workplace issues and while it cannot prevent mental ill-health caused by
personal circumstances, the university is keen to support staff negatively
Most people know
very little about mental health and unfortunately, stigma is still an issue.
Many people say they have not told colleagues about their mental health
problems due to a fear they would be treated differently or thought less of and
therefore do not seek the appropriate help.
What do Champions
A Mental Health
Champion can be supportive in a number of ways;
- Follow the SMHFA (ALGEE) or
ASIST (PAL) steps if a person is in immediate crisis or life-threatening
- Understand and recognise the
signs of mental health problems
- If you see a colleague in
(non-life threatening) distress, provide comfort to understand the
- Signpost the person to the
university support resources such TogetherAll or guide them to support and counselling from our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).
- Provide a listening ear
(sometimes that is all people want and need)
- Raise awareness of mental
health and make it part of normal conversation to help tackle stigma
to recognise a Mental Health Champion?
have Mental Health Champions based at each campus and you can find names and
contact details from this list. The Champions have added to their signature
line that they are a Mental Health Champion, and some have added the green
ribbon mental health symbol as their email icon so they are easily
identifiable. Many Champions will wear the green ribbon badge.
meet a few of our Mental Health Champions please click on the link below, and you will hear why being a trained mental health first
aider is important and why they decided to become a Champion.
Mental Health Champions
You can also read the stories of colleagues who are Mental Health Champions by clicking on each link below
November 2022– Amber Issacs
November 2022 – Georgios Andronikos
December 2022– Becky Dytham
January 2023– Russell Wardale
February 2023 – Kim Edmonds
March 2023– Nicola Kennedy
April 2023 – Ailie McConnell
June 2023- Adam Watling
September 2023 - Neil Guthrie
October 2023 - Lesley McRobb
November 2023 - Sarah Malone
to become a Mental Health Champion?
you wish further information about the role of a Mental Health Champion or have
comments and ideas, please contact the Wellbeing & Inclusion Team.
Champions agree to follow clear guidance within their remit when they become a Champion which helps them fulfill their responsibilities and recognise safe boundaries.