The Importance of Mental Health First Aid

Helping Others

Bridge is to deliver a range of Mental Health First Aid courses. Watch our inspiring new film on Mental Health First Aid.

This year’s World Mental Health Day on 10th October has the theme of psychological first aid and the support people can provide to those in distress. The Greenwich Mental Health and Wellbeing Partnership, a partnership of organisations across the Royal Borough of Greenwich, are holding an event in General Gordon Square in Woolwich on 8th October, to raise awareness of Mental Health First Aid and mental health wellbeing. Check back for news items on this exciting event.

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. Developed in Australia in 2000 and now internationally recognised in 23 countries, the Mental Health First Aid 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 services.

As is commonly known, one in four people will develop a mental illness over the course of their lifetime. In the Royal Borough of Greenwich that equates to a staggering 63,639 people who are likely to develop a diagnosable mental health condition.

Bridge provide mental health support to many of the people in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. We see first-hand the symptoms of mental distress and our dedicated staff work tirelessly to help those people.

Much is known about the benefits of physical health first aid but mental health first aid is not as widespread. However, if a person in the workplace or in the community became suicidal it is vital we are equipped with the tools to help them. Other, even more common signs of mental distress, such as anxiety and depression, are difficult to treat without expert knowledge. Mental Health First Aid can equip an employee or a concerned member of the public with the necessary skills to assist someone through such an episode.

Tools learnt in the training will enable you to spot the early signs of a mental health problem, feel confident helping someone experiencing a problem and provide help on a first aid basis. Also it will enable you to help prevent someone from hurting themselves or others and guide the person in crisis towards the right support.

Raymond Sheehy, CEO of Bridge, who commissioned the exciting film on Mental Health First Aid, said: “We recognise that Mental Health First Aid is a vital tool in today’s society and it can be lifesaving. Mental ill health in the workplace is costing the UK economy an estimated £70 billion per year. Mental Health First Aid can help to reduce this shocking statistic by offering on-site assistance to anyone experiencing a mental health difficulty.”

To find a Mental Health First Aid course for you or your business, please check back on this website for further announcements.

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