Supporting mental health and wellbeing

Supporting your trainees mental health and wellbeing is an important part of your role as a training officer.


How do I support my trainee’s mental health and wellbeing?

As a training officer get to know your trainee so you can read the signs of when something is not right. If you feel your trainee is not coping or may be in difficulty, have an initial chat with them to find out if you can do anything specific or additional to help or support the trainee. However, you should not feel you are solely responsible for your trainee’s wellbeing. You can contact the School for support and advice.

You could also assign your trainee a mentor. This could be a trainee who is in their 2nd or 3rd year or a recent STP graduate. The trainee could also access support from members of their regional trainee network.

Additionally, using guidance and help from your HR department, you may wish to signpost your trainee to additional sources of support available via your Trust, such as occupational health support or short courses.

Where relevant you might advise your trainee to talk to the School or to their University. Both are there to help and give advice to trainees.


How do I support my own mental health and wellbeing?

It is also important to look after your own mental health and wellbeing by using the support available to you from within your department and Trust. Ensure you are given adequate resources and time to support training. For making it a smooth experience for yourself and the trainee, it would be worthwhile to think about the following items:

  1. Before the trainee starts – do we have the right level of support for trainees?
  2. During the training – ask for feedback from trainees and support staff about how support could be improved
  3. After the training – reflect on what went well, what could you do differently next time?

It is an intensive programme for both trainee and the trainer, reflect on how supporting trainees can impact on your health, you should always ask for help when you need it.


What challenges could a trainee face?

It is important for training officers to understand the trainee’s perspective of what it must feel like on the programme and what the key stresses or pressure points are. Watch this video where existing/previous STP trainees talk about their experiences on the programme, the challenges they faced and how they overcame these.


Advice from trainees for new trainees

The following videos feature STP trainees talking about what advise they would give to new trainees.


Summary of supporting mental health and wellbeing

  • be aware of the types of issues that can arise
  • identify key interventions for trainees
  • be aware of the variety of support you can offer
  • know when to seek further help and guidance