Mental Health First Aiders

Mike Lawrence, mental health first aid trainer and pituitary tumour survivor, has spoken out about the importance of prioritising our mental health and well-being after his diagnosis at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. Lawrence experienced a condition called pituitary apoplexy, which is caused by bleeding inside the pituitary gland; thankfully, for Lawrence, the tumour was non-cancerous.

The patient’s experience highlights that we often ignore the signs and symptoms that we are struggling with mental health due to cost, ignorance, stigma, or other factors. However, just like we would stop and refuel a car running out of petrol or get something to eat when we’re hungry, we should not ignore the tell-tale signs that our mental health is suffering.

The mental health crisis affects not just patients but also those who work high-stress jobs. A recent report found that 45% of police officers in the UK are suffering from mental health issues. This is not only unacceptable, but it’s also having a devastating impact on people’s lives.


The waiting times for mental health treatment in the NHS are also far too long. According to recent statistics, 45% of people who sought help from their GP for mental health issues had to wait more than two weeks to see a specialist. And for those in crisis, the wait can be even longer. In A&E departments across the country, people with mental health issues are forced to wait for hours, sometimes even days, to receive the care they need.

However, Lawrence believes that there is hope. We can support ourselves and those around us by learning about mental health first aid. The knowledge he gained from attending a course and then becoming a mental health first aid instructor gave him a set of skills and strategies that helped him deal with his traumatic event. The training equips people to recognise when you or someone may be experiencing a mental health crisis and to provide support and guidance until professional help can be obtained.

It’s not about diagnosing or treating mental health issues but rather about providing a safe and supportive environment for someone to seek help.

In conclusion, Lawrence of Mike Lawrence Health & Wellbeing Management Consultancy urges us all to pay attention to our mental health and well-being by practising self-care daily. He also encourages us to learn about mental health first aid and support those around us who may be struggling. We must also advocate for better mental health resources and support in our communities and workplaces to help us all through this current cost of living crisis.