From education to employment

Midland counsellor bridges potentially lifesaving gap in UK’s mental health support

Mission continues apace

A Staffordshire counsellor is helping to bridge what is a potentially lifesaving gap in mental health support in the face of long waiting lists.

Qualified mental health counsellor Sheila McMahon, of Lichfield, is continuing her mental health mission by unveiling the launch of an exciting new venture that aims to improve access to mental health awareness education across Staffordshire, the Midlands, and wider UK.

Hot on the heels of winning Business First’s Community Spirit 2022 award for her ongoing work to raise awareness of mental health and stop the stigma, Sheila, has revealed she has been working in collaboration with Keele University for the last 21 months on an exciting mental health project.

Sheila McMahon

New venture won funding for improving healthcare resources in UK

Now, after securing the support of the University’s Business Bridge programme, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Sheila has launched her new venture – pre-recorded mental health awareness training that’s easy for anyone to access online to help themselves or others.

Designed to help people in crisis while they’re on waiting lists to see a counsellor – which can be up to a year – Sheila’s venture was selected for funding support as it serves to create a new, and much needed, healthcare resource.

When the latest Samaritans statistics reveal that the highest rate of suicide in the UK last year was in men aged 45-59, Sheila hopes her new training venture will give people the skills and confidence to support struggling colleagues, friends, and loved ones, including those at risk of suicide.

Training designed to help keep people alive and safe while waiting for counselling

Sheila’s training is suitable for education providers, businesses, and individuals

Sheila, who is also a mental health comedienne and personal survivor of mental-ill health, said: “We often find that people don’t seek help with their mental health until they are in crisis.

“My pre-recorded training is designed as an intervention between a person in crisis and the waiting list to see a counsellor.

“I hope sharing my counselling skills, intervention tools, coping mechanisms and insight into mental health, will enable people to have the confidence to manage their own well-being, and support someone who is struggling by using positive interventions to keep someone alive and safe while waiting to access counselling services.”

Sheila McMahon, who delivers mental health training and talks to schools, headteachers, and businesses across the Midlands and the wider UK.

For more information on how to access Sheila’s new pre-recorded mental health awareness training please visit

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