Mental health first aider- Barbara

Posted 11/05/2022

Barbara, Executive Assistant to Aspire Service Quality Director Ian Harper recalls her time as a Mental Health First aider and how she finds the role

I began my training as a mental health first aider alongside Ian back in 2019. This is when the first aid training was new.

Alongside being a Mental Health First Aider, I’m also a First Aider. I’ve had to give CPR before, and I think that mental health training will help me to support people with their mental health needs in the same way.

The mental health first aid training was quite intense. There were many instances of roleplay sessions in the training. People also revealed a lot about themselves, so everyone felt they were the same level. It helped everyone understand their own mental health as well as what to look for in other people.

Being a Mental Health First Aider requires you to use skills that you might often take granted before. Listening is the most important skill to help people’s wellbeing. Being a good listener means a Mental Health First Aider knows where to send people for the resources to help them. Having the extra help of the First Aider allows the person who is struggling understand how they are feeling and why.

Just like first aid training for other medical emergencies, I was concerned that I wouldn’t know what to do in an emergency. The training I took however helped me to know what I can to do to help someone who is struggling with their mental health and needs immediate support. Because I’m always prepared for it, I know that I can respond effectively and make a positive difference for someone if they contact me for support.

To find out more about your Mental Health First Aiders, visit this link below. Here you will find who is local to you and where to contact them: