Monday, 26 November 2012

Mental Health First Aid - good news and bad

It's Monday, the start of the week, I'm going to begin on a positive note! I did a Mental Health First Aid course in 2009 with Mid Powy Mind - and particularly as I was relatively new to the mental health sector it was brilliant. Just what I needed at the time. 

It seems loads of other people have also now received their training - according to a Welsh Government report today - 10,000 people across the country as a whole:

The course teaches people about mental health problems and gives them the skills they need to help people in crisis. It covers common mental health issues including alcohol, drugs and depression, crisis first aid for suicidal behaviour, first aid for anxiety and panic attacks, and other issues such as self-harm.

You can read more, including Health Minister Lesley Griffiths' comments on the course, here.

So far, so good. 

Monday ticks away by, and during my lunch break whilst browsing the BBC news website, I notice another important report, this time from the mental health charity Gofal. 

It starts - "Gofal is calling for improvement in healthcare workers and GPs' attitudes to mental health problems in Wales." The survey of 1083 people also found unacceptable waiting times for treatments, and a high level of drug prescribing for people experiencing mental distress.

The first question which comes to my mind is - I wonder if all these health care workers and GPs have been on the Mental Health First Aid course? And if not, why not? Because the Gofal survey implies that there are still a huge number of people out there, many working professionally in the health sector, who urgently need this training.

But ..... even the bad isn't all bad, hopefully. Together for Mental Health, the Welsh Government's new strategy for mental health across Wales, was published last month, and Mental Health First Aid is to be a priority"... the highly successful Mental Health First Aid programme will continue helping people to recognise the signs and symptoms of someone with mental health problems." Doubtless those 1083 people Gofal surveyed would really hope so.

Meanwhile, you can find out more about Mental Health First Aid courses here.

If you have been on the course we would really like to know what you thought of it, so please let us know.

1 comment:

  1. hI jACKIE. I went on the same course by Mid Powys Mind & it was a really helpful introduction for me too. I agree it is common sense for frontline health professionals to have this training. Is money an issue then? Otherwise why not make it mandatory. It would probably save the health service money if anything.