Testimonials – Why I Became a Mental Health First Aider

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Jonathan Bugbird

Why did you feel it was important to improve your awareness and knowledge of mental health by taking the MHFA course?

When my Director approached me to become a Mental Health First Aider, I jumped at the chance as I’ve always wanted to be able to help people living with these issues on a more formal basis.

These days, people are becoming more and more open about their mental health and we are also becoming increasingly aware of the extent of mental health issues in our society.

Increasing my own awareness and knowledge is of course a good thing, as I can now do more to help others. We need to make people realise that mental health issues are nothing to be embarrassed about. When explaining mental health issues to those living with them, I always compare them to physical health problems to counteract the stigma.

Has the course changed your perception of mental health? How?

The MHFA course opened my eyes to the large number of different mental health issues that exist and how to identify and understand them. It also really brought home how prevalent mental health problems are in our society, whether they are short term or life changing issues.

What new skills have found to be particularly useful in the workplace?

The course taught me to listen and not judge my colleagues. It has helped me to remain calm and supportive in some very challenging situations. It also gave me confidence and taught me what needs to be done when someone approaches me for help.

Has the course helped the way you approach your personal mental wellbeing? How?

Yes, for sure. It made me think more about my work/life balance and my priorities. It also led me to recognise that I needed help with bereavement and the support I received was excellent.

Who do you think would benefit the most from MHFA course? Why?

All line managers would benefit from an increased level of understanding and some practical experience, in my opinion. Taking the MHFA course would help them to identify colleagues who may have mental health problems. And having the knowledge to provide mental health support is an invaluable tool.


 

Keely Tanner

 Why did you feel it was important to improve your awareness and knowledge of mental health by taking the MHFA course?  

I believe it is very important to increase everyone’s awareness of mental health in 2017. So many of our family members, friends and colleagues are affected by mental issues of varying degrees. Burying our heads in the sand and ignoring them will only exacerbate the problem. We must highlight how common mental health issues are and how we can support our own and others’ mental wellbeing. Increased understanding and awareness will hopefully encourage people to seek the appropriate support.

Has the course changed your perception of mental health? How?

Yes, it certainly has! Whilst I was aware of the more common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, I had very little knowledge of psychosis and some of the less common issues. I probably would have been a bit wary of someone who was hearing voices prior to taking the MHFA course, however I am now aware that a person experiencing this type of mental health issue is no more likely to behave in a violent manner towards me than anybody else. As always, education will help to remove the stigma attached to mental health issues like this.

What new skills have found to be particularly useful in the workplace?  

Without a doubt, learning to listen and be non-judgemental. It is much more difficult than it sounds, but the MHFA course certainly helped me with this area.

Has the course helped the way you approach your personal mental wellbeing? How?

I now understand that I need to take care of my own mental wellbeing to support others.

Who do you think would benefit the most from MHFA course? Why?  

I honestly think everyone would benefit from MHFA training. If you have never encountered anyone who is dealing with a mental health issue then you are very much in the minority, or you are simply unaware of the issue.


 

Sarah Raynor

Why did you feel it was important to improve your awareness and knowledge of mental health by taking the MHFA course?

Although I have had personal family experiences with mental illness, I wanted to expand my knowledge and understanding of other aspects of mental health to help identify and support my colleagues and others.

Has the course changed your perception of mental health? How?

No, due to my personal family experience. However, it was good to gain the perceptions of the trainers and other people attending the course.

What new skills have found to be particularly useful in the workplace?

Listening and being non-judgemental. I have supported numerous colleagues since attending the MHFA course and this has proven to be the most useful skill. Sometimes all you need to do is listen.

Has the course helped the way you approach your personal mental wellbeing? How?

Yes, I make sure to take regular breaks while at work now, which is something I haven’t done for years! I also recognise that my own metal health needs to be in a good place to help support others.

Who do you think would benefit the most from MHFA course? Why?

Everyone! It is never too early to learn and open your eyes to life as it is now. I’d like to thank the MHFA trainers for a wonderful course, it was inspiring!

Find out more about the upcoming MHFA courses here

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