Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course, designed to teach people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis. In the same way as learning physical first aid, MHFA teaches people how to recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health and feel confident to guide someone to appropriate support. Embedding MHFA training within any organisation or community also encourages people to talk more freely about mental
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In general, the role of a Mental Health First Aider in the workplace is to be a point of contact for an employee who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction could range from having an initial conversation through to supporting the person to get appropriate help. As well as in a crisis, Mental Health First Aiders are valuable in providing early intervention help for someone who may be developing a mental health issue.
Mental Health First Aiders are not trained to be therapists or psychiatrists but they can offer initial support through non-judgemental listening and guidance.
This course is for trainees who require Adult Mental Health First Aid. It provides the skills, knowledge and understanding of first aid for mental health and how to effectively support those experiencing distress.
This course aims to empower both individuals in the work place and communities to understand the signs and symptoms of mental health issues and how best to support themselves and those around them in recovery.
Due to some of the sensitive subjects of the course students should be aware of that some people can find certain parts of the course difficult, although our instructors help everyone to feel safe and comfortable.
The MHFA standard course is split in four manageable parts. These are: -
1. Depression and what is mental health?
2. Suicide and substance misuse.
3. Anxiety disorders, self-harm, eating disorders and personality disorders.
4. Psychosis and building a healthy community for all.
By attending and passing the assessment, learners will become an Adult Mental Health First Aider (with the certificate issued by Mental Health First Aid (England).
Mental Health First Aiders are trained to:
− Spot the early signs and symptoms of mental ill health
− Start a supportive conversation with a colleague who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress
− Listen to the person non-judgementally
− Assess the risk of suicide or self-harm
− Encourage the person to access appropriate professional support or self-help strategies. This might include encouraging access to internal support systems such as EAPs or in-house counselling services
− Escalate to the appropriate emergency services, if necessary
− Maintain confidentiality as appropriate
− Complete critical incident documents as and when necessary
− Protect themselves while performing their role
At no time does the Mental Health First Aider role (or anyone trained in MHFA skills) supersede company policy: first and foremost they are all employees of the company.