Mental health is an important part of overall wellbeing. It is essential that we all take steps to ensure that we are looking after our own mental health and the mental health of those around us. One way to do this is by taking part in one of First Aid for Mental Health courses and becoming a First Aider for Mental Health.
Our primary objective is to increase the knowledge about mental health among the public and workplaces in the United Kingdom by providing nationally recognized qualifications that are regulated by Ofqual and listed on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).
But can anyone be a mental health first aider? We will explore the answer to this question and discuss what it takes to become one.
What does a Mental Health First Aider do?
A Mental Health First Aider is someone who has been trained in how to provide initial help and support to someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue or crisis. They are not therapists or counsellors, but they are able to provide basic advice and support, as well as signposting people towards further help if needed. To become a Mental Health First Aider, you need to complete a First Aid for Mental Health course. These courses are designed to teach people how to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and substance use, and how to provide initial support until professional help is sought. There are various levels of courses available, including courses specifically aimed at supporting young people, adults, and those working in the workplace.
How long does it take to become a Mental Health First Aider?
To get certified as a Mental Health First Aider, you will need to complete one of these courses and pass an assessment at the end. The courses are delivered by our qualified instructors and typically last between 1-2 days. Once you have completed the course and passed the assessment, you will receive a certificate that is valid for three years and is a nationally recognised qualification. To maintain your certification, you will need to complete a refresher course every three years.
First Aid for Mental Health courses: What Qualifications Do You Need?
You do not need any specific qualifications in order to complete a First Aid for Mental Health course, but it’s helpful to have an interest in mental health and a willingness to learn. The courses cover a range of topics, and no prior knowledge or experience is required.
What Skills Do You Need?
In addition to completing the training course, there are certain skills that you will need in order to be an effective mental health first aider. These include: good communication skills; the ability to remain calm in difficult situations; empathy; patience; and an understanding of confidentiality issues. It is also important that you have an open-minded approach and are willing to learn about different types of mental illness. Furthermore, being a mental health first aider requires a deep sense of compassion and a desire to help others. You need to be non-judgmental, respectful, and able to listen actively. Moreover, as a mental health first aider, you should be able to provide initial support to someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis, such as panic attacks or suicidal thoughts, and know when to escalate the situation to professional help.
What Are The Benefits of First Aid for Mental Health courses?
Being a First Aider for Mental Health can be incredibly rewarding as you will be helping people who may be struggling with their mental health. It can also give you the opportunity to develop your own skills such as communication, empathy and problem-solving. In addition, it can also enhance your professional qualifications and make you a more valuable asset to your workplace or community. Employers are increasingly recognizing the importance of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, and having a trained Mental Health First Aider on staff can help promote a positive and supportive work environment. By being equipped to help those around you, you can play an essential role in creating a more compassionate and understanding community.
Another benefit of becoming a Mental Health First Aider is the personal growth and self-awareness that comes with it. By learning about mental health issues and how to support others, you may also gain a deeper understanding of your own mental health and wellbeing. This can lead to greater self-awareness, improved coping skills, and a greater sense of empathy and compassion towards others.
In conclusion, becoming a certified Mental Health First Aider is a valuable and rewarding experience. It can make a significant difference in the lives of those around you. By completing the necessary training and developing the required skills, you can become a source of support and comfort for those struggling with mental health issues. At the same time you will be enhancing your own personal and professional growth.
If you need urgent mental health support, see resources available here.