Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the initial help given to someone who is developing a mental health problem or who is in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional support is received or until the crises resolves. The MHFA programme is available in 23 countries worldwide.
Emerging mental health problems covered in the course include: depression, anxiety, psychosis and substance misuse. The course also covers mental health crisis situations including: suicidal thoughts and behaviours, self-harm, panic attacks, traumatic events, severe psychotic states, severe effects of alcohol or other drug use and aggressive behaviours.
It is really important that people living or working in the community train in Mental Health Fist Aid as mental health problems are so common yet there is stigma and discrimination around mental health. In addition to this many people are not well informed about how to recognise mental health problems, how to respond to the person, and what supports are available. Many people with mental health problems delay seeking help or do not seek help at all.
Donal Scanlan, Project Manager with Mental Health First Aid Ireland said: “this is so exciting, a great opportunity to bring mental health first aid skills to a community setting, engaging people in becoming a more caring and supportive community.”
Ciaran McLoone, Connect Mental Health founder, said “We are delighted to welcome Mental Health First Aid Ireland to Donegal to run these courses. Increasing mental health awareness in the community is a key aim of Connect Mental Health. We would also like to thank the HSE for funding this initiative”
Anne Sheridan, HSE Mental Health Promotion/Suicide Resource Officer for Donegal added ‘ In the development of Connecting for Life Suicide Prevention Plan for Donegal we invited the people of Donegal to have their say. One person wrote to us saying ‘We need an information campaign around mental health issues. I know if I cough up blood that I should go to the doctor because my chest infection has got really bad – but I don’t know what the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues are for me or my family’ Mental Health First Aid does just that…it deals with the signs and symptoms of mental health problems and how to support someone with a mental health problem as well as the services that are there to help. I hope that many people avail of this opportunity to learn more about mental health problems and how to help so that we can extend the support to those who are vulnerable.’
Courses take place on the following dates:
20/21 March – Tir Hugh Centre, Ballyshannon
20/21 May – Moville Family Resource Centre in Inshowen
23/24 June – St Johnston Family Resource Centre
12/13 Oct – Dunfanaghy Family Resource Centre
18/19 Nov – Portnoo Family Resource Centre
For more information or to book a place visit www.connectmentalhealth.ie/events or email firstname.lastname@example.org