20 August 2019 - RPS Partnership
Caroline Neil, Managing Director of RPS Partnership attended a Mental Health First Aid course last week, here is what she says....
"I have just finished my 2-day Mental Health First Aid course and I thought I would share a few things that resonated with me during the course", said Caroline.
The statistics given to us were shocking (mental health issues in general, depression, suicides, self-harm to name but a few) and only served to reinforce that these numbers only represent those people who have either actually asked for help or who have been recorded as having required assistance.
Mental Health is something which everyone should be aware of; people always have troubles (no matter how tough they think they are!) and these can sometimes spill over in their personal lives as well as into the workplace.
“Well Being Wednesday” was something which was mentioned to us during the course. It is a day when you just give some time to colleagues and you make yourself available for people to offload, chat and have an opportunity to talk about anything that is bothering them. I liked the idea and for larger companies this type of initiative may well work well. For smaller companies, I guess every day is a Well Being Wednesday and it is up to the management to make it like this.
We need to release stress before it builds up and our “container” overflows. Coping strategies are what we all need for daily life.
The 5 a day Mental Health tips, suggested on the course, I thought hit the spot:
1. Stay connected to friends and families
2. Physical activity is essential to strengthen your heart
3. Keep learning - to keep your brain active
4. Keep giving – do something kind, random acts of kindness are good for the soul
5. Take notice of the world and enjoy things in your life
“Thoughts don’t have to become actions” was a very powerful message. It is ok to have negative thoughts, but you don’t have to act on them; you can find someone to talk to - a stranger, a person on a bus. If you see someone crying, looking down, stop and ask them if they are ok. Kevin Hines, who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and survived (https://youtu.be/V3wvjDwpuDA) said that if someone had just asked him if he was ok, he would have told them everything and not jumped. He said that routine helps train your mind and body at the same time, so maybe this needs to be added to the 5 a day list above.
Mental Health First Aid revolves around ALGEE.
A - Approach, assess for crisis and assist
L – Listen and communicate
G – Give support and information
E – Encourage appropriate professional help
E – Encourage other supports
Certainly, this is a course which would benefit business owners, managers and those working in high stress environments. I was certainly impressed and would highly recommend it to Hostile Environment Trainers and those who provide advice and support to organisations. 2 days was a great length of time to really understand the issues; there is also a one-day course for those with less time. You can do it in your local area, which was an added bonus.
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