what is mental health first aid?

What the Health is Mental Health First Aid? – MHFA for Dummies!

Hey you article reader, yes you!

Can you tell me what Mental Health is without reading any further?

When I did my MHFA instructor course this was asked, I had my version (non-Googled one) and everyone else has their versions.

I was quite surprised at how many versions there actually was that came out of other people’s mouths. No one really had the elevator pitch down to a T for Mental Health, apart from the ones who had read it online, possibly the night before

The reason I was surprised is that if you ask anyone what coronavirus, cancer or obesity is, they will have good general idea and a clear enough and generic answer online

Now take some time to tell yourself your version, write it down if you have to and I will tell what the generic right answer is

Mental health is;

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”

Then there’s more!

Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. People sometimes use the term “mental health” to mean the absence of a mental disorder.

Mental health is the level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the state of someone who is “functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment”.

Mental health is how we think, see things, behave and feel. Mental Health is the ability to live your day to day life without hinderance to their wellbeing. A person who is mentally well can deal with every aspect of their life such as work, family and their social life in their stride. 

I could go on!

So did any of the above align with your version or did you totally miss something?

Now I agree they all overlap and say the similar things in different words and varied ways, but that’s exactly the problem! Just because it’s mental health do we need to go “mental” with it? A great place for the word NO!!

Now if I was to ask what is HIV, the answer is: HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system. …

Spot the difference?

Wherever you look up HIV, it will start with those words and expand. Mental health does not have that marketing campaign just yet, it does not have a brand or tagline and this only adds to the confusion.

So what is Mental Health First Aid?

Good question, and one that starts a person on a journey of education and expertise in the field that is todays HIV!

Mental Health First Aid is?

Mental Health First Aid is a training program that teaches members of the public how to help themselves or a person suffering from or developing a mental health problem

So what is a Mental Health First Aider?

A Mental Health First Aider is a person who provides early intervention help for someone who may be developing or has developed a mental health issue

In an ideal world those two answers or “taglines” as I like to call them would be the generic answer you find everywhere, if you want to know more, then look further!

However, and unfortunately, mental health first aid is also a victim to the same problem that mental health is going through, its in some real need of clarity for the general public

It’s almost like a general election to the normal person, it’s longwinded and confusing with no simple straight answers.

That’s a problem and you may have realised that with your own answer.

Now this is never going to change, so it’s up to the Mental health first aid community to bring some clarity into the picture.

Mental health first aid training is the start of that journey, for everyone.

MHFA England currently have an amazing plan to get 8 out of 10 people in the UK to be MHFA trained. The benefits of that reality is that it would start a the biggest and first, mental healing of the UK in its history

Nonetheless in order to do that, we need that HIV type of marketing campaign, a brand with clear tagline. Why is this so important? This is important because how can we discuss mental health, when we are not sure what is actually is in the first place?

Would you discuss maths with a person if you have never been taught and understood what addition, subtraction, division and multiplication was?

So as an MHFA, I hope I can shed some clarity through mental health first aid training and I will give it to you in a nutshell, keeping to the clear concise theme that is so needed

Here’s the Menu, and no you down have to wait for lockdown, all you need is Zoom!

1.    The half day course for total Mental Health dummies!

Awareness of Mental Health First Aid Level 1.

2.    The 1 Day course if you who want to know more and use skills to on a personal level

First Aid for Mental Health Level 2

3.    The full works! 2 Day Course that will make you an fully qualified MHFA and which you can use in the workplace – Supervising for Mental Health First Aid Level 3

Now go get yourself some clarity, and let’s start a revolution for Mental Health!

P.s For those wondering what MHFA is, well its Mental Health First Aid/Aider! 🙂

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