09/02/2015 - Mental Health First Aid

This topic is rapidly gaining traction, especially in the workplace, where 'pull yourself together' should no longer an appropriate response to someone who is struggling under the burden of a mental health problem, be it caused by a one-off event or something more deep-seated.

Mental health issues should not carry a stigma. Think of physical disability, gender, religious or sexual orientation ... none of these should be regarded as an inhibitor to someone making a valuable contribution, and making that decision is now forbidden in law.

Instead, we should embrace our differences, making adjustments as necessary, and use them to enrich the world.

I think this has got to be a good thing

I have long been of the view that we must take a much more holistic look at the human condition.

Physical unwellness or disability is very visible - the person is in a wheelchair, has a broken leg or a hacking cough, which are clear signs that something is 'different'. We can and do make adjustments to cater for that 'difference'.

Mental well-being, on the other hand, is often much harder to spot, and there is the temptation to try and 'put a brave face on it'. Sometimes, that course of action is appropriate and may work. Quite often, though, I hear of people doing that, only for another trigger to come along, and dump them back on their arse again.

I am a Fire Warden and a trained First Aider at work.

Last week I went on a two day training course to learn more about Mental Health First Aid.

I was impressed with the very thorough selection process. There were over 80 applicants for less than 20 places. You had to fill out a form explaining why you wanted to be involved; you also had to fill in a form committing to attending the training as well as top-up or refresher sessions during the year, which had to be counter-signed by your line manager; you had to attend an interview, which involved a couple of written pschicometric tests, and still there was the chance of not being selected !

Anyway, suffice it to say I will be putting together a section of this site over the next few weeks to look in more detail at this issue. Watch this space, and if you have any ideas of your own, please let me know via the Feedbcak page.

This site © 2018 Mark Plant