There are two types of first Aid
As a first aider has a number of roles and responsibilities in an emergency situation but all first aiders should be aware of the key aims of first aid. In the lat couple of weeks, we have been looking at the other first aid.
Mental Health First Aid is an educational course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help a person who may be developing a mental health issue. In the same way as we learn physical first aid, Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health.
Developed in Australia in 2000 and now internationally recognised in 23 countries, the MHFA course teaches people how to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues, provide help on a first aid basis and effectively guide someone towards the right support.
We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Mental ill health can strike at any time and can affect people from all walks of life. We know that 1 in 4 British adults will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives.
Unfortunately, stigma still exists around mental ill health and this can lead to delays in people seeking help and support. Lack of awareness and general mental health literacy also means that many people don’t feel confident in knowing what to do if someone is experiencing mental distress or is in a mental health crisis situation.
As well as the human cost of mental ill health there is also a financial cost. Mental ill health costs UK employers an estimated £26 billion per year, which equates to an average of over £1,000 per employee. In 2013, 15.2 million days of sickness absence across the UK were caused by stress, anxiety and depression.
By learning to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental ill health, you will increase your confidence in feeling able to approach, assess and assist someone who might be experiencing a mental health issue and encourage them to the support they need to recover.
We will also be hoping to pilot mental first aid courses.