COUNCIL staff have been trained to offer Mental Health First Aid to people in crisis.

Staff from a range of teams across Copeland Council are now better equipped to deal with people who are seeking council services whilst suffering with mental illness.

Colleagues undertook a two-day intensive course provided by Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA) which included: recognising the signs of mental illness and dealing with those who have depression and anxiety. The group were also taught how to communicate effectively with those suffering from mental illness and which organisations to signpost sufferers to.

Gemma Coward, Senior Housing Options Advisor at Copeland Borough Council, said: “Often our customers have hit rock bottom and can suffer from a range of mental health issues including depression and anxiety, as a result of their current situation. Therefore, it is vitally important that we understand how to work effectively and sensitively with those that are suffering."