Earlier this year I undertook a two-day training course to become a mental health first aider (MHFA). The training was provided by Mental Health First Aid England, an organisation that supports workforce wellness. It gave me the necessary knowledge and skills to spot the early signs of mental health issues and provide timely intervention.
Why is this so important? Well, when we experience physical ailments like a cold, it’s pretty normal to take medication or seek medical advice. But when it comes to our mental health, it’s far less common to seek help. Unfortunately, mental health is often overlooked despite being really important – and often complex.
We encounter lots of different challenges every day, and what may seem minor to one person can be overwhelming to another. Mental Health First Aid England uses the concept of the “stress container” to illustrate this. Everyone’s stress container has a different capacity, some large and others small. And they don’t just get filled up with stressors from work, things from our own personal lives can be significant contributors too.
It’s essential to adopt healthy coping strategies to release stress when your stress container is getting full. Neglecting it can lead to problems. In my role, I can lend a supportive ear and offer guidance to other Jack & Grace team members to ensure their stress containers are at healthy levels. One of the biggest takeaways from the course was that kindness goes a long way – you never know what struggles someone might be silently facing.
I’m proud to have undertaken the training and be able to support my peers at Jack & Grace.
To find out more about becoming a MHFA visit the Mental Health First Aid England website: mhfaengland.org