Learning the symptoms of mental health problems

By Maurice Garvey

UP TO 16 people from local primary schools, Tusla, Barnardos and Ballyfermot Chapelizod Partnership recently trained to become mental health first aiders.

Mental health first aid is the help offered to a person who is developing a mental health problem or who is experiencing a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis resolves.

Mental Health Training Ballyfermot

Trainees on the Mental Health First Aid course

The standard Mental Health First Aid Ireland course teaches participants to learn the signs and symptoms of mental health problems, and provide the sort of help that has been shown by research to be effective.

They also learned a framework for communication, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person towards appropriate treatments and other supportive help.

Mental Health First Aid training has been shown to improve attitudes towards people with mental health difficulties, reduce stigma, improve knowledge, and improve people’s confidence in providing help and likelihood to advise people to seek professional help.

It has also been shown to improve participants own mental health.

The training was delivered by Family Matters ABC and was supported by Mental Health First Aid Ireland.

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