The Dorking Mental Health Project:


No one with Mental Health issues should feel isolated or alone. We are a volunteer group that aims to help people in the Dorking area to take control of their community's mental health.

We provide subsidised services and support that enable people in the Dorking area to take control of their mental health. We focus on the funding and provision of:


  • Mental Health First Aid Training

  • ASIST Suicide Prevention Training

  • Advocacy for those in the Dorking area who are struggling to get help with their mental health condition


Wellbeing Monday Events: Due to Coronavirus and current government guidance, our events are now held online. Details are HERE.


Please refer to our Crisis Info page if you are looking for help and advice in these challenging times.


2021 Sessions TBC

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We're a charitable organisation, and every penny we raise goes towards delivering services to the Dorking area.

"I feel very privileged to have been able to attend this course.  It will be invaluable both in my work environment and personally.  Jane has a wonderful manner of presenting the course, based on depth of knowledge and personal experiences and underpinned with a caring and empathetic nature.


Thank you very much for providing this important course"



The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is affecting all our lives. Many of us are struggling with how it's affecting ourselves and our loved ones. Those of us already living with mental health problems are facing extra challenges too (links to Mind’s website).


Tips, advice and where to get support for your child's mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (links to Young Minds’ website)


Mole Valley District Council Coronavirus Information.




This grant allows Dorking Minds to part-finance the training of its own MHFA trainers for 2019


This is now an online course held over four sessions, qualifying participants to be Certified Mental Health First Aiders.

You must be a resident of the Dorking area and surrounding villages to qualify for attendance. We reserve the right to cancel your place on the course.




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“This Course has made me re-evaluate how I have been dealing with my children’s mental health needs.”

Mental Health First Aid is an educational course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help a person who may be experiencing a mental health issue. In the same way as we learn physical first aid, Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health.

In each section you’ll learn how to:

  • Spot the early signs of a mental health problem in young people

  • Feel confident helping a young person experiencing a problem

  • Provide help on a first aid basis

  • Help protect a young person who might be at risk of harm

  • Help prevent a mental health illness from getting worse

  • Help a young person recover faster

  • Guide a young person towards the right support

  • Reduce the stigma of mental health problems


The sessions will be a mix of presentation, group discussions and group work activities. Jane our trainer will provide a very safe learning environment and is trained to support you throughout the whole course. If you don’t feel comfortable joining in certain parts, then don’t, we won’t ask you to do something you aren’t comfortable with. The course is ideal for parents, teachers, tutors, sports coaches and anyone who comes into contact with young people as part of their work.  Young people over 16 are also welcome to understand themselves and their peers.


The MHFA courses takes place over 4 sessions at a cost of £60 per person in a waged household and £20 for concessions.





In response to Covid 19 MHFA (England) have adapted their adult mental health first aider course for online delivery. The course uses all the original material and maintains the full standing of the face to face training and accreditation by The Royal Society for Public Health.

You must be a resident of the Dorking area and surrounding villages to qualify for attendance. We reserve the right to cancel your place on the course. Please contact us if you are unsure about eligibility.

We limit numbers to 16 people per course so that the instructor can keep people safe and supported while they learn.


Learning takes place across 4 x 2 hour online sessions using Zoom which requires you to have access to suitable video and sound enabled technology. We recommend a PC, laptop or tablet rather than using a phone for the best experience. There will be a comfort agreement in place to ensure the online experience feels safe for all participants.

Each online session will require you to complete 2 hours preparatory reading and homework which will have to be submitted in advance of the session as Learning is through a mix of group activities, presentations and discussions, each session is built around a Mental Health First Aid action plan. You will get an MHFA manual in advance of the course to keep and refer to whenever you need it.

When you complete the 8 hours online guided learning and 8 hours personal study you'll get a certificate from MHFA England to say you are a Youth Mental Health First Aider.

The course normally costs £300 but we subsidise this heavily through our independent fundraising in order to make it accessible to all. If you cannot afford the reduced course fee of £60 (plus booking fee) we offer a number of concessionary places on each course at a rate which covers the cost of the training manual.

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Who are we?

David Scoffield

David moved to Dorking from London in 2013 and has become active in a variety of community projects in the area.  

After completing a degree in fine arts David’s career took him into a range of community development projects and third sector organisations where he developed a particular interest in mental health.  With over 20 years experience of working for a local Mind Association David has worked as a practitioner and in senior management roles with particular interests in employment support, social enterprise, ecotherapy, service development, quality management, income generation and sustainable healthcare.  

With personal experience of supporting family members experiencing mental health issues, David is committed to service user empowerment and involvement at all levels of the project.

David remains connected to the world of arts through work as a trustee of The Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust and as an occasional broadcaster and promoter of live music events.

Susan McGrath

Susan has lived in Dorking for the past three years with her partner and has two sons.


She started her career as a scientist working in the pharmaceutical and IT sectors.  After the birth of her first son and whilst living in Tokyo she became directly acquainted with the distress of postnatal depression.  On her return to the UK she trained as a counsellor and psychotherapist and worked at the University of Surrey for 9 years supporting staff and students in the Centre for Wellbeing.  She is now running her own private practice in Surrey working with adolescents, adults and couples.  She also teaches self-development courses and supervises trainee counsellors for two psychotherapy training organisations in London.

Sally Elias

Born in London, Sally has lived in Dorking and district all her adult life and is proud and grateful to be an active part of the Dorking community scene. A secondary school teacher for most of that time (with the odd year out trying to escape) she is keenly aware of the increasing need for earlier intervention for young people facing mental health challenges. She has always been a strong advocate of creating resilience in young people through the PSHE programmes in schools. Sally practices mindfulness as part of her coping mechanism for periodic bouts of depression.


She has a Stress and Health Management Diploma, a PARKES Inner Child Therapy qualification and is also an NLP master practitioner. Having raised two children herself Sally would love to see a space created locally where young people could feel safe sharing their worries and fears before they become debilitating.

Jeff Zie

Jeff has lived in the Dorking area with his wife and son for over 17 years, and has benefitted from therapy for depression in that time.


As a businessman, Jeff has held senior strategy and management positions at Electronic Arts, BSkyB, Microsoft and Emap. He has successfully led and run multimillion dollar P&Ls, built and managed international businesses in both corporate and start-up environments.


As well as being a Board Advisor, Angel Investor and business founder, Jeff is active in various voluntary mentoring and advisory roles, including University of Arts London's Artquest programme and Google Campus London.


We designed some nice gear so that you can show folk that you support what we're doing - and each with each sale, the profit goes towards providing and subsidising more Mental Health First Aid Training! (Plus, they're printed in the UK on organic, ethically-sourced garments.)

We're a charitable organisation, and every penny we raise goes towards delivering services to the Dorking area.




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