By RSMI Douglas Craddock
Most people will have heard, the term ‘Every Mind Matters’ and ‘It’s Good to Talk’ and maybe other references in relation to mental health. Probably more so during the past 14 months where we have been in various stages of lockdown; lacking that social engagement that many of us have become accustomed too. There may have been other concerns that may have affected our mental health and well-being.
Over the weekend, 15/16 May, 14 staff from Greater Manchester ACF attended a Mental Health First Aid Course to gain a better understanding of mental health and the factors than can affect an individual’s wellbeing. The Mental Health First Aid course which was run by Connect 5, part of Tameside, Oldham, Glossop, Mind.
The course ran over 2 days and was presented by Mel Kelly from Tameside, Oldham, Glossop, Mind. Mel has a wealth of knowledge on mental wellbeing and runs several other courses.
The course is accredited by Mental Health First Aid England and is designed to give the students the practical skills to spot the signs of mental illness and gives the confidence to step in and support a person who needs assistance. The training was delivered through group activities, presentations and discussions. Each session was built around a Mental Health First Aid action plan.
Over the 2-day course students will have learned or gained knowledge in:
Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues.
Confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress.
Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening.
Knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further support – whether that’s self-help resources, through their employer, the NHS, or a mix.
Everyone who completes the course received a MHFA manual to keep, which they will be able to refer to if needed and a certificate to say they are a Mental Health First Aider.
Some of the comments from the course students:
“I found the course very eye opening. Learned quite a few strategies to help people with mental health issues. Very informative”.
“The most insightful and helpful course on mental health I have been on and will help me support and help others going forward”.
“The Mental Health First Aid course was very interesting and covered a lot of subjects around mental health and how to approach someone and hold a conversation with them concerning mental health issues”.
“What an amazing course. The MHFA was very informative and very useful. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested”.
“I found the course enjoyable but hard at times due to personal experience with mental health. The course was delivered very well and would recommend to anyone”.
“I believe everyone who attended the MHFA course gained a lot of insight into the various mental health issues a person could experience and has boosted their confidence in being able to assist an individual. The skills gained will help them to direct people to seek appropriate professional help. A thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking course”.