Why I Became a Mental-Health First-Aider at my Research Institute

The Francis Crick Institute in London now has around 40 accredited mental-health first aiders. The two-day training course is run by our occupational-health nurse, covering conditions such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and psychosis.

I volunteered because there weren’t yet any scientific group leaders among the first aiders. We should have them at all levels of the organization, and managers should be exemplars. Like anyone else, we experience mental-health problems. I had them in the past, and my experience taught me that things can deteriorate quickly — and that early intervention is key.