New Mental Health Project Lead Appointed

13/05/2021


Today, the College of Paramedics is delighted to announce that Jo Mildenhall has been appointed the new Mental Health Project Lead on a fixed term basis for one year. Jo was successful in securing this position through a selection and interview process earlier this year and will start with the College of Paramedics in June.

Jo is currently a Senior Lecturer in Paramedicine at the University of the West of England. Prior to this role, Jo was Clinical Lead for Mental Health at South Western Ambulance Service, and an Operational Paramedic Team Leader at South Central Ambulance Service (where she still undertakes clinical paramedic shifts).

Jo is also a registered therapeutic counsellor and experienced TRiM Practitioner. She is reading Trauma Psychology for her Doctorate at the University of York and is developing as a subject matter expert in paramedic psychological wellbeing, emotionality, and organisational culture. In 2019, Jo was very fortunate to be awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust research fellowship, enabling her to travel to Australia and New Zealand to practically research paramedic and ambulance staff mental wellbeing programmes, innovative support processes and learn from the latest international research studies.

The Mental Health Project Lead role that Jo is undertaking was made possible due to a successful bid for funding from the Covid Healthcare Support Appeal (CHSA) fund last year. This project, working with the NHS Practitioner Health service and The Ambulance Staff Charity is to develop a service to provide specialist mental health interventions for College of Paramedics members with the most serious and complex mental health needs.

Liz Harris, Head of Professional Standards said;
“I am really pleased that Jo has accepted this formal role with the College of Paramedics. Jo has been a voluntary member of the Paramedic Mental Health and Wellbeing Steering Group since its inception in 2018, and since then has committed her expertise and plenty of her own time and effort to ongoing workstreams and projects the College has been involved with. I now look forward to working even more closely with Jo on this amazing project.”  

Jo Mildenhall looks forward to taking on this new role;
“I am absolutely delighted and honoured to have been appointed by the College to lead on this valuable project which will place our member's mental health as an absolute priority. The last year in particular has been unimaginably difficult for us all, and never has protecting and supporting paramedic's psychological health and wellbeing been more important. To collaborate with key organisations to ensure that we develop a service to provide specialist care and interventions to meet the needs of colleagues who may benefit from complex psychological support, is an incredible privilege. I look forward to working with the College and its stakeholders to ensure we do even more for the mental health and wellbeing of paramedics.”

For more information about the CHSA funding click here to read our news item from last year.