07 January 2021
Supporting wellbeing through Mental Health First Aid Training
The pandemic has created a mental health crisis for many across the country. Carla Quenet, Learning & Development Officer for the Yorkshire Plus Region, explains why the Methodist Church is supporting Mental Health First Aid training.
It is well documented that 1 in 4 people will experience mental ill health in any given year. Good mental health is something that we all strive for but when it is compromised, it may be that the person may need some sort of help and perhaps professional intervention.
Mental ill health often impacts not only the individual but also on those who offer support, such as family and friends, as well as potentially their work and colleagues. However while it is extremely prevalent in society, it’s still a taboo subject. Tragically, a person who is enduring mental ill health is often left feeling stigmatized. Why? Maybe some people are frightened by mental ill health, maybe people have a lack of understanding and some sadly don’t even want to try to understand.
Good mental health and its role within our whole wellbeing is something that I am passionate about and I see the church as being a place of hope, encouragement, empowerment and support in facilitating the destigmatisation of mental ill health and recognising and responding to mental health needs, both within the Church and the wider community.
To enable this, I believe that people will feel better equipped to act and deliver intervention, if they are empowered through appropriate training and in turn, it is evident that their own mental health also improves in doing so.
Mental Health First Aid training provides a tool for people to better understand the signs and symptoms of some mental health issues and help individuals with a mental health issue, including how and where to signpost individuals.
The training is about equipping the public to respond and in my experience it helps:
- create a culture which is less likely to stigmatise because of a better understanding
- provide individuals with more confidence to deal with mental ill health issues
- people to signpost and know when medical intervention is critical
- provide a better understanding of other’s mental health, and importantly it helped me to better understand mine too.
The Methodist Church, through external and internal funding is in the process of arranging training for a number of Mental Health First Aid instructors to deliver this training. Following training the instructors will subsequently roll out the Mental Health First Aid training, allowing people to have access to this brilliant and extremely informative course. I believe that in doing so, this will help the church to better respond to, and offer a compassionate and empathetic understanding to people who are suffering with mental ill health and help the church to live out our command in an informed way to love our neighbours. I can’t wait for this popular training to be widely available within our church.