Mental health first aid is designed to support people who experience ill mental health. The person who is trained as a Mental Health First Aider is able to help someone who is experiencing mental health issues as well as try to prevent, or help during a mental health crisis. It is worth mentioning that Mental Health First Aider is not someone who prescribes treatment or determines diagnosis.
The MHF Aider role is very similar to a physical first aider. For instance, if you saw someone who has broken a leg, you would give first aid until the paramedics stepped in, but not continue treatment. Mental Health First Aid is designed to follow the exact same process – you support the individual, and assist with the situation until professional care can be administered.
Mental health first aid training gives you structure and strategies to utilise if you encounter someone who experiences depression, distress, psychosis, and other psychological conditions. After the course you will be able to better identify symptoms like depression, anxiety, suicidal behavior, eating disorders, self- harm, psychosis etc.
You will be able to react in a supportive way, ask the right questions, with a view to de-escalating the situation. It is very handy ‘toolkit’ to have. Everyone has mental health, whether they are in your workplace, school, or family.
So what would you do if you saw someone in distress?
The training provides with the detailed plan – this is called the ALGEE action plan. The acronym stands for Approach, Listen, Give support, Encourage to seek professional support, Encourage support others.
The course itself is interesting and interactive. The delegates participate in various role play scenarios and case studies. You will learn interesting and relevant statistics around mental health – for example, did you know that in the UK more people die because of poor mental health (suicide) than in a car accident?