Action to improve Mental Health

Steve Sewell

29th July 2020

We've taken action to improve our knowledge of Mental Health and equip ourselves with the tools to help others and provide Mental Health First Aid. Mental Health often features in our work with clients, and we felt it was time for us to do something positive.

Mental Health often features in our work with clients, either during workshops, coaching, or team development sessions. How organisations respond to Mental Health issues are critical, something that many people find difficult. Indeed, in some cases, the culture of the organisation can impact negatively on Mental Health directly or even how people who are experiencing Mental Health issues are supported.

Stirred by a story told by an impressive manager working for a client, we decided to take action. This manager, having had a significant mental health issue himself, was encouraging others in his organisation to become Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA). His story and initiative reached the CEO, and she gave the initiative her full support. It’s now a key objective within the organisation to introduce more Mental Health First Aiders. Inspired, we decided that now was the time for us to become Mental Health First Aiders and recently we successfully completed the MHFA course.

This course provided insight into Mental Health conditions and gave us a range of simple ways with which to help people. We learned:

- The nature and scale of the stigma associated with Mental Health conditions
- The importance of not trying to fix someone but instead being with them, listening and validating their feelings.
- That there are lots of simple things we can incorporate into our workshops, coaching, and team development, that can help people manage their own, or help someone else with their Mental Health.

With 1 in 4 people experiencing Mental Health issues each year, being able to spot the signs and symptoms, and provide help on a first aid basis are essential skills that also help us to be better friends, partners, parents and citizens. We would encourage others to become Mental Health First Aiders; more information is available from https://mhfaengland.org/

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