Members' Staff: Mental Health

House of Commons Commission written question – answered on 28th March 2019.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, what training and support is available to hon. Members' staff on suicide awareness.

Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

There are three courses available to support Members’ staff whose roles bring them into contact with vulnerable people:

  • Conversations with vulnerable people – which includes how to engage with someone who may present with suicidal feelings;
  • Building emotional resilience – which seeks to develop the emotional skills required to cope with the personal stress of handling emotive situations; and
  • Mental health awareness – which includes being aware of suicidal feelings.

The training is provided by the Samaritans and Mind and is delivered on demand both in Westminster and in City locations around the UK.

Support for Members’ staff is available through an Employee Assistance Programme provided by Health Assured. This is a free confidential helpline that is available 24/7 for all Members’ staff provided on behalf of the House that allows staff to discuss and seek advice on personal and professional issues, including stress at work. Additionally, face-to-face counselling sessions can be offered where appropriate.

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