A MARLBOROUGH man is campaigning for mental health first aid training to be taught in

businesses and companies up and down the county.

Chris Stewart, 53, from Herd Street, is crowdfunding so he can attend a training course which will enable him to teach staff mental health first aid, and how to properly and sensitively deal with issues such as anxiety and depression when it occurs in the workplace.

Mr Stewart, who has bipolar disorder and was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder aged 12, wants to help remove the stigma surrounding mental health and make help readily available to all.

He said: “I am retraining as a mental health first aid instructor. As a sufferer myself it seemed like a really good thing to do.

“After my training with MHFA England I will be able to go to companies and organisations and train the people within them.

“If someone is stressed, anxious, depressed, this trained person is their point of call.

“It is a win/win for companies because it means they are addressing mental health before it gets too damaging and people take time off work.

“It allows employees to get that support in a safe and protected way and recognises the workplace is a stressful environment. It is a very effective way to ensure people are getting treatment that just wasn’t available in my day when I had to take long periods off work.

“It is something we need to talk about more, it is a very insular illness.

“The stigma around mental health is improving but we are still not there yet.”

Mr Stewart hopes to raise £2,790 so he can become an instructor.

To donate, please visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/fund1in10.

Companies interested in training some of their staff in the new year can email Fund1in10@gmail.com.