The need for better mental health support has never been greater. You can be part of the new solution by training in Mental Health First Aid.
One in four of us will experience a mental health issue in any given year.
In England the most common mental health issue is depression, followed by panic attacks and generalised anxiety disorder. It’s estimated that between 4 and 10% of people in England will experience depression in their lifetime.
This means is that it’s highly likely you, or someone you know, will develop mental ill health. Which is a pretty good reason to learn more about what that looks like and how you can help yourself and others who may be experiencing or showing signs of poor mental health.
The old ways of approaching the issue haven’t worked. So, now it’s time to try something different, something like Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).
Just like with physical first aid training, you will learn to spot the early warning signs and a framework to help when someone in need.
And, again just like with physical health, early interventions lead to better outcomes. So, the more people that are trained in the knowledge and techniques of MHFA, the more chances we have to help someone, be it a loved one, a colleague, a complete stranger or even yourself.
Why do Mental Health First Aid – the benefits
Knowledge – knowledge is power. We explore some simple do’s and don’ts, we revisit the language to use or not use. You will understand how to deliver empathy, which helps someone feel better right away – just by listening without judgement. I keep it simple at a level which you can understand. I encourage questions – often that’s where some of the best learning is for everyone. You’ll learn how to listen well, which is often the thing that helps the most, and how to have conversations and ask those difficult questions – and be prepared for the answer. These simple interventions, like listening and talking, do work – they literally save lives. Simple stuff works. Less is more.
Toolkit – you’ll be given an action plan, known as ALGEE, that gives you a clear set of steps to follow in priority order to assess the situation and take the appropriate action to help someone. Many people who have taken MHFA training with me, describe this as a game-changer as it provides step-by-step advice, so you don’t feel as if you’re facing the unknown. It’s a guide or roadmap for each support conversation you have with someone.
Confidence – with the knowledge plus the toolkit, you’ll have the confidence that you can assist someone who might be in distress. Often, that’s the thing many of us lack; we worry we’ll be seen as sticking our noses in, that we’ll upset the person further or that we won’t say the right thing. MHFA training gives you the confidence to make the approach in the first place and know what to do next, right down to what’s good to say and what’s not so good.
Become a Mental Health First Aider
The stats at the start of this blog can be shocking, but the good news is there is hope. Simple conversations work, the more people who know how to talk about mental health, the better. Being honest and showing you care, giving your time can make a life saving difference to someone, because they realise that they are NOT alone. Validating their feelings and their difficulties is so important & something we often skip over by trying to find the silver lining in situations. This is a common mistake many of us make…
By doing MHFA training, you can learn how to have those important conversations and help to encourage those experiencing poor mental health to open up and encourage them to take those steps back to wellness.
Become a Mental Health First Aider – click here to see upcoming courses or email chinwag@AndyElwood.com about running a private course in your organisation.
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