Latest news from Loughborough University

18 Feb 2015

Loughborough Mental Health Adviser nominated for national Mental Health First Aid award

Clare Pinchess

Clare Pinchess, a Mental Health Adviser within Loughborough University’s Counselling and Disability Service, has been nominated for a national Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Award, in recognition of her exemplary work in the field of mental health.  

The Awards identify examples of excellent projects and individuals, acknowledging innovation and high performance in raising mental health literacy across England. 

Clare has been working with the University to deliver the internationally recognised, life-saving training that is accredited by Mental Health First Aid England. She was nominated by Dr Manuel Alonso, Director of Student Services at Loughborough University.

“Clare has shown herself to be an excellent MHFA trainer and has trained up a range of colleagues from across the University working in all sorts of different fields,” says Manuel.

“The feedback she has received has been outstanding and her work in delivering the training is crucial in helping Loughborough University to raise awareness around mental health issues and to continue to support students and staff in this area.”

Clare says she is thrilled to be shortlisted for the award.

“Loughborough University is committed to the provision of a fully inclusive university experience and supported me wholeheartedly to undertake the training as a means of helping to achieve this,” says Clare.

“The course has been excellent for me, as it has allowed me the opportunity to engage in things that I am very passionate about: training, education and my commitment to raising mental health awareness and reducing stigma. I hope to go from strength to strength, increasing Loughborough University’s profile and commitment to mental health awareness.”

MHFA was introduced to England in 2006 and has since trained 85,000 people in mental health life-saving skills. Much like physical first aid, MHFA is designed to equip people with the knowledge and confidence to spot the signs and symptoms of someone in distress and offer help on a first aid basis.

Mental ill health affects 1 in 4 people in the UK and is often not disclosed due to the stigma that continues to be attached to it. MHFA breaks down the barriers that prevent people from seeking help and gives people the ability to assist someone who is experiencing mental distress. 

The winners will be presented with their certificates by Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, Patron of MHFA at the House of Lords on Wednesday 25 February. 

Notes for editors

  1. MHFA is the mental health equivalent of physical First Aid training and provides participants with the skills and confidence to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues and effectively guide a person towards the right support services.
  2. The core principles of MHFA include: spotting the signs of a mental health problem, helping to stop the distress from getting worse and give confidence in helping someone who is experiencing a problem.
  3. As well as the standard MHFA course, the organisation runs a number of bespoke courses including Youth MHFA, MHFA Lite, Armed Forces MHFA and MHFA Workplace.
  4. For further information about the MHFA Awards 2015 please email Eleanor Miller at or calling 020 8224 1144.