Just like physical health, there are things that you can say and actions that you can take in order to help someone who is experiencing mental health problems.
Many places of work are starting to offer mental health first aid training to their employees as part of the new £15 million programme, which hopes to see over one million people trained. This is to help improve resilience and to help people to recognise and respond effectively to signs of mental distress.
However, this training course can be beneficial to many people with various jobs and from various backgrounds. You can apply for the training course yourself via St Johns Ambulance; though it doesn’t come cheap. A two-day face to face training course will cost you £360 (including tax), and you can expect to learn about the following topics.
- what is depression
- What is anxiety
- What are eating disorders
- What is psychosis
- What is schizophrenia
- Suicide and self-harm
- Signs and symptoms of various mental illnesses
- How to talk to someone experiencing a mental health crisis
- What forms of professional help will be useful for them
- Calming techniques
And much more!
It is important to remember that being mental health first aid trained does not make you a medical professional and a large part of your role is being able to direct the individual towards professional help best suited to their needs.
It is great how mental health first aid is finally being recognised as having the same level of importance as physical first aid. In order to run a successful business or any line of work, it is important to look after the staff and ensure that their wellbeing is cared for as well as their physical health and that they can trust their management team when it comes to discussing their health.
Although this is a huge step in the right direction in regards to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health and help people to become more aware, I still feel as though we have a long way to go. It is all well and good being able to help someone reach professional help for their mental health, but there are still long waiting lists in many areas of treatment and the funding for the NHS is very poor at this moment in time with fears of going private in the near future.
Many things need to change. We can help make that change by supporting local businesses, taking all the training courses that out workplaces offer to us, voting for Labour in the upcoming election, reading the latest policies and the latest news in regards to mental health, the NHS and even politics as right now it is important to have some level of understanding as to what is happening in our country.