The importance of Mental Health First Aid Training to increase awareness, should not be underestimated. In the same way as we learn physical first aid, this course teaches you how to recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health. Like traditional first aid,  it does not teach people to treat or diagnose mental illness or substance use conditions. But shows you how to offer support, when someone is developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or is in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received or until the crisis resolves.

With the serious lack of sufficient ‘care in the community’ facilities available to help the ever growing number of people suffering with mental health issues, (of varying degrees), which have been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic.  It is more important than ever that people should be trained to firstly recognise and then know the right way to offer help and support.

As a believer in looking for new ways of increasing my skills and knowledge, especially where this can help impact society as a whole.  I am excited to be starting a mental health first aid course next week. This will enable me to be qualified before Christmas, ready to put my new found skills into action, when an occasion demands it in the future.

For those of you reading this blog, if you have not done so already, I would urge you to undertake a training course. There are a number of reputable training providers out there, including St John Ambulance, whose website quotes some frightening statistics ” Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental illness each year. In 2016, 15.8 million UK work days were lost due to mental illness. The largest causes of sickness absence for our county’s workforce is depression, stress, and anxiety. Mental illness costs UK businesses around £35 billion every year, this equates to £10.6 billion lost to sickness absence, £21.2 billion in reduced productivity, and £3.1 billion in substituting staff members who vacate their roles due to mental illness.”

However, perhaps through education we can all play a small part in reducing stigma and increasing the provision of care for those who are suffering.