“How Mental Health First Aid Training Allowed Me To Help Myself, And Others”
Mental health first aid training is a powerful tool to spot the signs of deteriorating mental health caused or exacerbated by external factors. Much like spotting the early signs of a physical health issue that could cause harm to life, mental health first aid training can be essential in helping others who may be seriously struggling.
For some, learning more about mental health can be life-changing. CoursesOnline spoke to Ellie, a Head of a Management Accounts department for an Accountancy firm, and learned about the positive impact training in this area had on her personal and professional life.
Why Ellie decided to learn more about mental health
After Ellie was struck by a personal tragedy that exposed her to the tragic consequences deteriorating mental health can have, she knew that she wanted to protect others.
“I was inspired to learn more about Mental Health after being in a relationship with someone who ultimately took their own life,” She said.
Ellie became determined to help others around her and wanted to better understand how to help those in need of mental health support in her workplace. “I just wanted to help my colleagues feel supported at work and like they had a safe space to discuss their difficulties,” she said.
For many across the country, poor mental health can be a constant struggle. According to Mind.co.uk, 1 in 4 people in England will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year, with 1 in 6 reporting a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression, any given week.
Ellie’s personal story and the overall statistics and growth in mental health awareness demonstrate just how necessary mental health first aid training can be for caring for those around us at home and in the office.
Overcoming challenges – how Ellie got started on her education journey
Ellie was worried about the logistics of attending an in-person course and felt it would be too difficult with the commitments she had elsewhere.
“I have two kids, and a full-time job – added travel to a facility would make the course challenging to fit into my already jam-packed schedule,” she said.
Although she felt that online learning could be the solution, she was still unsure if it would be the best way to learn.” I thought it might be hard to be motivated in an environment not centred around study, e.g., a classroom,” she explained.
Luckily, she realised that this form of studying was well suited to her learning style. “But actually, being comfortable at home allowed me to feel focused and alert during my study sessions, and I enjoyed them a lot more,” she pointed out.
The impact mental health first training had on her career, and her life
After completing her mental health training, she noticed a positive impact on her personal and professional life. It opened up new opportunities within her full-time role and allowed her to play a positive role within her workplace.
“The Mental Health First Aid course meant I was assigned as our company’s Mental Health First Aider. Part of my role is now supporting the whole company by sharing resources, checking in with colleagues, and encouraging open and non-judgemental conversations about mental health in general and in the workplace,” she explained.
Knowing how to spot the symptoms of mental health decline and other risk factors and warning signs, she had a wellness toolkit and workbook to give professional support to the mental wellbeing of those suffering from mental health issues.
The training also had impacts outside the workplace. Ellie found that her training helped her to look after her own needs and practice self-help and self-care strategies on herself.
“The course had elements of self-reflection but also guidance on handling symptoms of mental ill health,” she said, “The resources and holistic treatments mentioned have significantly improved my own mental health.”
This allowed her to be a positive force for those around her and helped her to reshape the way she approached her own mental health and the mental health of her loved ones.
“I am much more self-aware and more perceptive of others’ feelings, body language, and words. It improved my listening skills, which improved communication both personally and professionally,” she explained.
How can you follow in Ellie’s footsteps?
Are you inspired by Ellie’s story and want to know how you can access training like this? If you’re asking yourself questions like ‘what is mental health first aid training?’ and ‘why is mental health first training important,’ there are several ways in which you can learn more about this area of healthcare.
For mental health first aid training courses, you may be able to get access to one through your employer. Find out if your workplace already has a mental health first aider, as they may be able to show you a route to getting qualified, or you may find that your work doesn’t have a mental health first aider, allowing you to step into the role effortlessly.
If you’re interested in improving your knowledge of mental health more broadly, there are many mental health courses you can take to become qualified to take on a wide variety of roles where you can give others professional help.
If you want to become a mental health professional in a career that’s solely focused on improving mental health, treating mental illness and mental health conditions, taking and Counselling Studies Level 4 or the MSc Mental Health Psychology can help you acquire the knowledge you need to get started. Elsewhere, there are many mental health-related roles out there, with guides on how to become a counsellor, or how to become a mental health nurse.
Overall, getting involved with mental health first aid can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. If you’d like to learn more about how you can get started on your education journey today, click the button below and see how we can help you get the skills you need.