Between the 22nd-23rd June, I partook in a MHFA course to help educate myself in basic mental health and how to appropriately respond to a number of mental health issues. From the perspective of someone who has no other mental health training, what I learnt during this course can help save lives, and I encourage anyone who is eager to learn more about mental health to consider trying the course. Delivered in Trafford Hall, the idyllic setting helped create a relaxed atmosphere and facilitated the learning of difficult topics.
Having experienced mental health issues in the past, the first point of contact for support was my friends and family. Justifying or explaining mental health to others was often difficult, and waiting weeks or even months to see a GP often made things worse. Throughout my time struggling I was completely unaware of MHFA techniques, or even the complexity of what I was going through. If MHFA was understood and taught universally, I wonder how much easier it would've been to find support and guidance.
With approximately 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health issues at some point during life, teaching the in’s and out’s of widely experienced mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety is key to enriching lives and having a greater collective understanding of how to help people effectively.
What is Mental Health First Aid?
MHFA is a course to help raise awareness of mental health, what factors affect your mental wellbeing, and how to confidently step forward and provide support. You partake in a range of different group activities, discussions and presentations each built around a mental health action plan. The course is interactive, and it’s outlined from the beginning that everyone has a voice to express their opinions and thoughts in a safe space. Activities felt fresh and engaging, with most activities encouraging group discussions that allowed participants to bring forward their own personal views and experiences.
What Do You Learn From MHFA?
During the two-day course you learn a number of techniques to help visualize mental health in a refreshingly destigmatized way. The course takes into account common misconceptions surrounding illnesses such as psychosis and PD and aims to explain them in a considerate and fact-based manner, to help inform and raise awareness for how to properly approach someone experiencing these issues.
On the other hand, the course tackles commonly experienced feelings such as stress, by using the stress container to help better understand what is making you stressed, and how to utilize helpful coping strategies.
Another key approach you'll learn to helping others with mental health issues is ALGEE, an action plan to help evaluate someone's risk to themselves or others, and to find the appropriate help for people by providing accurate information and support.
How Did People Find the Course?
Delivered by Healthbox trainers Andrew and Elizabeth, other attendees have had their say on how the course was for them:
"Both instructors were informative, inclusive and engaging. They made the learning process fun and interesting and gave us personal and professional experiences along the way which really helped with understanding. I feel I have taken away a lot from this course and I can see how hugely beneficial it would be for society if more members completed the MHFA course. I would highly recommend."
"The course was delivered at exactly the right level and I would recommend it to all workforce's. It would provide a great foundation of understanding for those with no mental health awareness and is a brilliant opportunity for people with good mental health awareness to recap and refresh their knowledge and understanding. Very insightful and delivered in a really sensitive way that is very relatable. I would highly recommend this course."
How Do I Sign Up?
If you're interested in signing up for the course, visit out online store today. Once you've booked, you will receive a highly informative handbook with a detailed breakdown of what you'll learn during the course, as well as a workbook to complete group and individual tasks. Once you've completed the two days, you'll receive a certificate of recognition from Mental Health First Aid England which will qualify you as a Mental Health First Aider.
- Upcoming dates are Wednesday 1st & Thursday 2nd September.
- Address: Trafford Hall, Ince Lane, Mickle Trafford, CH2 4JP
- Times: 9am Registration, course takes place between 9:30am-4:30pm.
- Price: £150 plus VAT per person including refreshments and lunch on both days.
- The course will be delivered by Healthbox's own qualified counsellor Lizzie Wainwright.
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