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First Aid for Mental Health: FAQs

The importance of a mental health first aiderBeing a Mental Health First Aider is an important role to have.

It can sometimes be a challenge to recognise and support people experiencing signs and symptoms of mental health issues.

Overall, we are slowly becoming more aware of the types of different mental health issues that individuals face.

At 3B Training, we deliver the Mental Health First Aid qualification, delivered by trainers who are accredited by Mental Health First Aid England.

So, let’s discuss what a Mental Health First Aider is, and the responsibilities surrounding the role. Also, we will discuss why having First Aid for Mental Health within your workplace is so important.

What is a Mental Health First Aider?

It’s someone who is trained to provide support to individuals in a moment of crisis or when experiencing symptoms of bad mental health.

They are trained to identify, understand and provide help to people experiencing mental health issues.

They are usually the first point of contact when someone is struggling and provide initial support and guidance before professional help is available. Therefore, they are a good person to go to if you’re struggling with your mental health.

Hear from our Managing Director, Mat Bewley, on Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace and why it’s so important.

What does a Mental Health First Aider do?

There are a number of steps appointed Mental Health First Aiders will take, including:

Identify 

It can be difficult to spot signs of poor mental health if they aren’t visible in the individual.

Mental Health First Aiders are trained specifically to identify different types of various mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, substance abuse and more.

Approach 

Approach the situation with care.

Once an individual is showing signs that they may be suffering with their mental health, the trained and competent person will make a conscious effort to engage in an open and empathetic conversation. This is a safe space for them to open up about their struggles.

Support 

They’re trained to provide immediate assistance and reassurance.

This means they can handle a number of situations and can offer the correct support, as they have a duty of care to take the necessary steps to ensure safety.

Guidance 

They will refer the individual to appropriate care, as they can provide access to professional mental health services.

Read the Mental Health Foundation’s guide: How to support someone with a mental health problem

What does this role involve?

The Mental Health First Aider role includes:

  • Providing support and further advice to those who need it.
  • Raising awareness to reduce stigma around the topic of mental health.
  • Implementing support systems to ensure others’ safety.
  • Educating others on mental health, for example, by presenting Tool Box Talks.

To learn how to conduct your own Mental Health Toolbox Talk, take a look at our guide: Toolbox Talks Topics for Mental Health

If you’re looking to find out more about the role, read our blog: The Role of a Mental Health First Aider

What makes a good Mental Health First Aider?

Being good at this role comes from attending the relevant training, having good intentions and wanting to self-develop.

It’s important to ensure you have the following qualities:

  • Empathy and compassion
  • Patience and understanding
  • Communication skills
  • Confidentiality

Mental Health First Aiders genuinely care for others, so it’s important for them to have these traits and have the correct up-to-date knowledge and skills to help individuals struggling with mental health.

Why become a Mental Health First Aider?

It is a great and rewarding role if you have the qualities and a passion to become one.

To become a Mental Health First Aider, find out more about our course: Mental Health First Aiders training

After successfully completing the course you will receive your mental health first aid certificate to show you are competent.

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