Developed by MHFA England, this two-day course qualifies delegates as mental health first aiders.
Participants gain a deep understanding of what mental health is and what factors can affect wellbeing. The course teaches delegates practical skills to spot the signs of mental illness and gives them the confidence to step in and support a person who needs assistance. The course aims to provide understanding of how to support positive wellbeing and tackle stigma. The course covers many areas of mental health including anxiety, depression, stress, suicide, self-harm, eating disorders and personality disorders.
The Northampton Town Community Trust has a MHFA instructor, Anna Letts. She is working alongside Emma Dillon from the Mental Health department at the University of Northampton. Together they delivered a course in October half term with the Cobblers, the club's Community Trust and education staff. The idea is to raise awareness of mental health generally as well as in the workplace. The club is keen to roll out further training to club staff, players, volunteers and sponsors in the future.
This week sees Anna and Emma working with teachers from the Northampton Primary Academy Trust (NPAT). Due to the nature of the job these days, the profession is facing a recruitment and retention crisis with many teachers suffering from stress, anxiety and depression. Many are leaving the profession. It is often the children that staff focus on, not themselves. By delivering this MHFA course, we hope to provide a toolkit and awareness for teachers to support each other and create a mental health/well-being policy and ethos in their schools.
Schools taking part this week are: Abington Vale, Upton Meadows, Blackthorn Academy, Headlands, Simon De Senlis, Rectory Farm, Lings.
FEEDBACK FROM THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN ON THE COURSE
Teachers/school staff (family support workers, learning mentors)
Useful tool to have and use in your personal life and work base environment.
I will use my awareness in my role. I will implement the stress bucket with colleagues.
This course has helped me to really think about how to manage my own well being/mental health in order to support others with theirs, particularly in the teaching profession.
I have a better understanding of stress in the workplace and promoting well being.
Making a difference in others’ lives.
We can support each other how to manage our own well being.
Using a team stress bucket in staff meetings will be useful. Creating an outlet and safe place to discuss these issues as well as coping strategies.
I will take from this training that we need to work as a team and support one another. Also the importance of positive well being and looking after yourself.
I have learnt how better to support people and signpost them to relevant help. Lots of strategies to help with our own mental health. I am excited to take back and share.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course, I found it extremely useful and am looking forward to using these skills/knowledge in my work practice and making a difference in others’ lives. Many thanks.
Excellent delivery by instructors, made us feel well looked after and confident. Very knowledgeable.
Brilliant course. I would really like to learn more. I learnt lots I didn’t know, really helpful. It would be really good to roll out to schools and leadership teams as well as parents.
An excellent course, a safe space to share personal things and how best to look after ourselves and others. I’m inspired to get started.