The Northampton Town Community Trust has been successful in obtaining funding from Northamptonshire Community Fund to train staff from voluntary, community and third sector organisations as mental health navigators across Northamptonshire in the wake of Covid-19.
Attending the free online Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England course to become 'mental health aware', enables staff from a range of professions to assist adults in the community as we continue to deal with the issues arising from the pandemic and lockdowns.
These navigators join a network of over 100 people in Northamptonshire where mental health resources, links and support services can be shared.
The course is designed to give delegates:
• An understanding of what mental health is and how to challenge stigma
• A basic knowledge of some common mental health issues
• An introduction to looking after your own mental health and maintaining wellbeing
• Confidence to support someone in distress or who may be experiencing a mental health issue
MHFA doesn’t teach people to be therapists, but will teach listening skills, how to reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.
Participants learn to recognise warning signs of mental ill health, and develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone while keeping safe.
Delegates also learn how to empower someone to access the support they might need for recovery or successful management of symptoms. This could include self-help books or websites, accessing therapy services through their GP, their school or place of work, online self-referral, support groups, and more.
January and February saw the first two courses run, mostly focusing on organisations from Kettering and Corby. We welcomed staff from Home Start, Hope UK, Northamptonshire Chronic Pain Support Group, CSD Activity Camps, Kettering Town Harriers, Kettering Gymnastics Club, Burton Park Wanderers FC, Totally Netball, McCarthy-Dixon foundation, Northants Carers NHFT, St Peter & St Paul Soup Kitchen, Spencer Contact and Daventry volunteers ‘Happy at Home’ programme.
School staff also attended from Vernon Terrace, Weedon Bec, Towcester, St Peter’s primaries, Refocus, Isebrook and Sponne secondary schools.
• Brilliant course with a safe and welcoming atmosphere. I learnt lots and would recommend to my organisation for all employees. Thank you.
• Despite being run virtually, it was an interactive and involved course. Ample opportunities to listen and share. This all added to the experience and embedding the knowledge and skills shared. Thank you.
• A good course and the instructor was brilliant with giving and teaching the information.
• The course was very interactive which kept it interesting and relevant. The instructor put the group at ease so that we could share our thoughts with confidence.
• Very good quality course in terms of delivery and content.
• Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to take this training. It will be so helpful with my work as well as my own life. I can see lots of things I can look at for my own wellbeing.