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In a world that prioritises physical health it is easy to forget about the importance of mental health. However, just like any physical ailment, poor mental health deserves our attention, care and support. This realisation and working closely around the community while also being a part of the Hull and East Yorkshire Mind team led me to embark on the Mental Health First Aider Training. I want to share my experience and the knowledge I gained while attending these training days and give my opinion on why everyone should consider becoming a Mental Health First Aider.

Coming to the realisation that mental health matters was the reason I attended the Mental Health First Aider course. We encounter friends, family and colleagues who may be struggling with poor mental health. Often enough, people encounter these challenges silently, fearful of stigma or judgement. Becoming a Mental Health First Aider helps to begin the path of breaking these cycles and providing support that could make a significant difference.

What is Mental First Aid? Before attending the training, I wanted to understand exactly what Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is. MHFA is a program designed to teach individuals how to provide initial support to someone who may be experiencing a mental health crisis or showing signs of poor mental health. Its comparable to physical first aid, but for mental health.

The training program was an eye-opening experience. Over the course of two days, I learned about various mental health illnesses, their signs and their symptoms, and how to provide immediate assistance. My trainer (Yvonne) emphasised the importance of non-judgmental listening, empathy and referring individuals to appropriate professional help.

One of the most powerful aspects of the training was the opportunity to engage in role-play scenarios. These exercises allowed us to practice our newfound skills in a safe and controlled environment. It was both challenging and rewarding to navigate these simulations and gain confidence in my ability to provide assistance.

The impact it had on my life: As the training progressed, I started to see the world differently. I became more aware of the signs of mental distress in people around me and began offering support when needed. The knowledge gained didn’t just benefit me as a potential Mental Health First Aider; it made me a more compassionate and understanding person overall.

Why should you consider MHFA Training? The Mental Health First Aider training was an experience that will be highly resourceful throughout my life. I believe everyone should consider taking part. I have listed a few reasons why:

  1. It reduces stigma. By becoming a Mental Health First Aider, you can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and your actions can encourage open conversations about poor mental health and challenges others may be facing.
  2. You are learning lifesaving skills. Just as knowing CPR can save a life, knowing how to respond to a mental health crisis can also make a significant difference. Your training could help someone in their time of need.
  3. It has provided me with personal growth. MHFA training can enhance your interpersonal skills, including active listening, empathy, and communication, which are valuable in all aspects of life.
  4. It can help when providing community support. As a Mental Health First Aider, you contribute to creating a more supportive and understanding community. Your efforts can have a ripple effect, encouraging others to seek help when needed.

Becoming a Mental Health First Aider was a transformative experience that allowed me to better understand the importance of mental health and my role in supporting those around me. The knowledge and skills I gained have not only made me a more compassionate person but also equipped me to provide crucial assistance when someone is in need. I encourage everyone to consider taking this training, as it has the potential to change lives and create a more empathetic and caring society. Mental health matter, and by becoming a Mental Health First Aider, you can make a difference.

To find out more or to book Mental Health First Training, please email [email protected]