9th December 2018
Mental Health First Aid
With all the attention on mental well-being and health, there is a move to encourage all organisations to have Mental Health First Aiders as well as Physical Health First Aiders. I have just completed a Mental Health First Aid course and found it helpful and enlightening and also useful in gaining more awareness for my practice in coaching and supervision.
On the first day of the two-day programme we covered issues and statistics surrounding mental health, recognising the symptoms, the impact it has on us, and the stigma surrounding it. We also looked at how alcohol and drugs have an impact and at the causes and rates of suicide. On day 2 we explored specific mental health conditions, and considered how we can support and guide people towards the treatment of those conditions which included eating disorders, anxiety conditions, panic disorder, phobias, and psychosis. In all cases the emphasis is on first line support before professional treatment is available.
Even though there is high awareness of the prevalence of mental ill health, I found some of the statistics presented surprising, for example 75% of mental ill health starts before people are 18 years old and 75% of people receive no treatment at all (Chief Medical Officer’s Report for England, 2014). And it turns out that 90% of people who commit suicide have a mental health condition but not all are diagnosed (NHS Choices, 2015) and men are 3 times as likely to commit suicide as women (ONS, 2016). If anyone is interested in hearing more, please do contact me.