Following the buzz of World Mental Health Day, we thought it only right that we send our HR manager Connor to test out our Mental Health First Aid Course for himself.
The less taboo talking about mental health becomes, the more people are invested in learning about it.
Have a read of the interview between myself and Connor to see how attending a MHFA course has benefitted him.
Jess: ‘How did you find the 2 Day Mental Health First Aid Course?’
Connor: I found the MHFA Course to be a valuable part of recognising my own mental health and wellbeing; as well as recognising and gaining practical skills in tackling a potential mental health crisis in the workplace.
J: ‘How do you think this will help mental health awareness in the workplace?’
C: I believe this will help mental health awareness in the workplace massively. It provides a workplace with an individual who will come away feeling more confident in recognising a mental health crisis and in a position to inform others of helpful information relating to Mental Health First Aid. Each MHFA first aider is provided with an in-depth manual to refer back to at any point and can help both self-development and the development of their colleagues.
J: ‘How did you find other people reacted to the training, and were people comfortable enough to discuss their own experiences of mental health issues within work?’
C: In my experience, every single person on the course reacted in a way which was comfortable for them. The environment was incredibly safe and people were able to share as much or as little as they wanted to without the fear of judgement. These stories also helped bring the delegates together and promoted healthy discussion throughout the 2 days. Each delegate was also able to “opt out” for any parts of the course they weren’t comfortable with and extra support would have been provided.
J: ‘How interactive was the session?’
C: The session was very interactive through a variety of team-based and individual exercises and scenarios with the purpose of better understanding certain topics such as disorders, suicide and depression. We also watched videos from people who have experienced troubling episodes of mental ill-health which prompted great group discussions.
J: ‘Do you need any prior knowledge before attending the MHFA course?’
C: Absolutely not, having never had any prior knowledge of mental health issues I did walk in initially feeling anxious about the course however within a very short space of time I felt relaxed and comfortable enough to ask any questions I may have had. The course is run at a pace that everyone is comfortable with and the trainer is open to questions at any point of the day. The phrase “there is no bad question” is firmly communicated at the start of the course.
J: ‘Do you need to be First Aid qualified in order to go on this course?’
C: You don’t need to be first aid qualified whatsoever (I am myself a fully qualified first aider) however the Mental Health First Aid Course is very different to our standard First Aid Courses and this doesn’t put me in any better position than someone who has never done any form of training at all.
J: ‘Would you recommend the MHFA course to other people and if so, why?’
C: I would highly recommend this course to anyone. Mental ill-health is a topic often not spoken about freely in the workplace however it is something that affects a lot more people than many think. The course is not only designed to support a colleague suffering with mental ill-health but also encourages self-awareness and confidence in yourself. I hope everyone in the UK gets the same opportunity I did in attending this course!
J: ‘Can you see this being beneficial to schools and colleges as well as workplaces?’
C: We do actually run the Youth Mental Health First Aid courses now too which is aimed at those working with children aged 8-18It doesn’t matter what kind of field you’re working in, as this course is designed for individuals within any job role and sector. Whether you’re a headteacher, factory worker, student or manager this course will definitely be beneficial to you!
J: ‘Did you find the Mental Health First Aid instructor engaging at all times?’
C: I can’t speak highly enough of the instructor. Becky was everything you would want in a mental health instructor: she was highly knowledgeable, extremely personable and was able to manage a full group of delegates in a professional and understanding way. She also made herself available for 1-2-1 chats in break times and lunch times, even after the course if anyone had any questions that weren’t answered. Becky also reminded everyone that for each topic covered, where extra support was available if needed. Everyone on the course came away feeling confident Mental Health First Aiders.
Want to know more? See our 5 top tips on recognising Mental Health Issues in the Workplace