Since January, the Northampton Town Community Trust have trained 67 people as ‘Mental Health First Aiders’ or ‘Mental Health Aware’ on 2 day and half day adult courses.
These courses are licensed by Mental Health First Aid England, and the Community Trust have a trained instructor, Inclusion Officer Anna Letts.
Free and funded places have been offered to the Trust’s Premier League Primary Stars partner schools, Premier League Kicks feeder schools and PASS schools (Partnership of associated schools scheme) as well as other third sector voluntary and community organisations. The trust is able to offer courses at a lower rate than private providers due to being non-profit.
Courses have been run online as well as face to face with different schools hosting. For 2-day courses, Anna works in partnership with the University of Northampton who have a number of qualified instructors though their HR and mental health nursing departments.
A big thank you to Claire Cross who co-delivered the most recent course for Wellingborough area schools.
During courses, participants gain an understanding of what mental health is and what factors can affect wellbeing. The courses teach 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 courses aim to provide understanding of how to support positive wellbeing and tackle stigma.
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.
Feedback from recent participants:
• "A very useful course which will help me in both my professional and personal life."
• "Really insightful, very well delivered. I feel more confident to help others as a result of this course."
• “This course was truly excellent and really inspiring. The instructors really looked after the group, listened and supported us all. Thank you."
• "A really fantastic course has filled me with confidence in supporting others with difficult times and creating a culture shift at my school."