This month, the whole team has been super busy preparing to roll out the Mental Health Ambassador scheme – over 100 students have decided to join in and be trained by us. The last week of July saw Rachel and Josh starting their training as Mental Health First Aid Instructors, and they’ll be fully trained by the end of August, adding to the rest of the qualified team! But what has the training been like? Here, they’ll talk about what they’ve experienced so far!
This week saw me starting my journey to become a Mental Health First Aid Instructor; it’s been both hard-hitting and enjoyable in equal measure. The course lasts seven days – with lots of time in between each block of dates to prepare for presentations. So far, we’ve attended the first two days, this is where we receive the same training that you will get from us! We covered areas such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-harm, self-care – a really wide spectrum of topics! The topics were really fascinating to learn about, and we completed activities throughout the course to empathise with how someone suffering may feel. The people I’ve met on the course have come from very diverse backgrounds, with teachers, ex-police officers, people working for councils and many more areas of society. Everyone has one thing in common, we all want to help people – that’s our primary aim!
The course involved us doing activities to understand different treatments for mental health issues, like how we gained an understanding of psychosis through a practical exercise where people whispered in our ears while we tried to have a conversation. It was very effective, and I empathise completely with how difficult it would be to suffer with psychotic symptoms.
The whole reason I have chosen to do this job and to deliver these courses to people like you is simple: nobody should be made to suffer a mental illness in silence. If they are struggling, they deserve to be helped! I’m looking forward to empowering you to help one another. Just a reminder! If you wanted to get involved with the Mental Health Ambassador Scheme and be trained as a Mental Health First Aider, just pop Leanne Arnold an email; [email protected]
The need for mental health awareness and education is a huge passion of mine and so having the opportunity to be trained as an instructor for Student Life and Training for Life is amazing. Prior to starting, I was really nervous – the course is set out as 7 days, spread over 4 weeks and includes two assessments. It’s intense but it needs to be thorough, as qualifying is going to enable Josh and I to train up young people and professionals who work with young people in Youth Mental Health First Aid across the educational settings that we currently work with. The idea that we will be able to deliver peer to peer training and information is ground-breaking and my hope is that we are able to have a positive impact on the lives of those we come into contact with, both directly and indirectly.
Josh and I travelled to London for our course and the first two days was spent being trained in Youth Mental Health First aid. It was important that we sat through the training we are being trained to deliver. Having already been qualified in Adult Mental Health First aid, it was really interesting for me to see how the two courses differ but also how they overlap. I’ve been able to expand my knowledge base in so many areas (Josh has highlighted a few!) and I look forward to applying this during our