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Mental Health First Aid

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Mental ill health can strike at any time and can affect people from all walks of life.

I have dedicated the best part of 25 years to senior management roles within retail and hospitality – embodying a definite work-life imbalance. Through my journey, I have personally experienced how stress, anxiety and depression are interwoven with our health – both physical and mental. This point was irrevocably forced home just over four years ago, when my father – a respected medical practitioner in South Africa – took his own life.

We see the facts and figures, but every statistic is a father, a daughter – a member of someone’s family.

Prevention is better than cure. And early intervention is the best means of prevention.

Stigma still exists around mental ill health. As a society, we generally don’t know how to take care of our mental health like we do our physical health. You may not know how to support a friend, family member, or a colleague experiencing a mental health issue – or where to go for support with your own mental health.

Become a Mental Health First Aider

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an accredited training course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue. MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but it will teach you to listen, to reassure and to respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.

You will learn to recognise the warning signs of mental ill health, and you will develop the skills and confidence to approach and to support someone, whilst keeping yourself safe. You’ll also learn how to empower someone to access the support they might need for their recovery, or for the successful management of their symptoms.

You will gain an understanding of how to support positive wellbeing,  and how to tackle the stigma in the world around you.

The MHFA England Instructor Training programme is accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health, and – as an accredited instructor  – I support the mission of Mental Health First Aid England:

“Mental health education empowers people to care for themselves and others. By reducing stigma through understanding, we hope to break down barriers to the support that people may need to stay well, recover, or manage their symptoms – to thrive in learning, work and life.”

MHFA training courses have evolved into a global movement with licensed programmes now firmly established in 25 countries, with over 3 million people having been trained in MHFA skills worldwide. MHFA was introduced to England in 2007, and was launched under the Department of Health: National Institute of Mental Health in England (NIMHE) as part of a national approach to improving public mental health.

If you are interested in attending one of our upcoming MHFA England accredited training courses in – and around – London, contact Colin – an accredited MHFA Instructor, and certified MHFA Youth And Adult First Aider – for additional information, or click HERE to register your interest.

Where’s Your Head At?

Where’s Your Head At?” is a campaign which will improve the mental health of the nation by ensuring employers look after the wellbeing of their workforce. The intention is to make it easy for you to talk about your mental health at work, and to ensure that there are trained colleagues on site who know how to point you in the direction of any help that you might need. Evidence shows that the earlier a mental health issue – like stress, anxiety or depression – is detected, the easier it is to manage and treat.

An open letter was sent to Theresa May on November, 18th, 2018, calling for changes in legislation to elevate mental health to a level of parity with physical health in the workplace .

Success will ensure that employees across the country can access a trained member of staff, to receive initial support and guidance if they are dealing with a mental health issue at work. Success will ensure that every employee has the right to a mentally healthy environment. Success will mean we can finally break the stigma of mental health in the workplace.

View the open letter here. Sign the petition here.

There is no Health Without Mental Health.