Mental Health First Aid –
A personal journey
I recently completed an accredited Mental Health First Aid course and have joined a growing community of Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) in Australia.
The course took place over 2 consecutive days, in a small group setting with an MHFA facilitator who shared many personal stories and anecdotes on the wide variety of mental health problems & illness.
Since Covid started, we have all become more familiar with the term “mental health”.
But if asked “what is Mental Health?” or “what is a “Mental Health Problem?”, how would you respond?
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) considers that Mental Health is a continuum ranging from having good mental health to mental health illness.
MHFA describes a person with good mental health is someone, who will feel in control of their emotions and cognitive functioning and has positive interactions with people around them. A person with good mental health generally performs well at work, in their studies and in family social relationships.
In contrast a Mental Health Problem broadly speaking is the opposite. A person experiencing a mental health problem may have a Mental health illness, mental health condition or be suffering symptoms of mental illness. And a Mental Health Crisis is having thoughts of suicide.
As a natural holistic health practitioner, I too believe that Mental Health, like Physical & Spiritual Health, travels on a continuum.
I believe we all experience times of poor Mental health and / or will be affected in one way or another with a Mental health issue or illness, either through a lived experience or through someone we know. Mental Health is part of what makes us human.
Our MHFA facilitator assured us, there will be no doubt that you will apply Mental Health First Aid to someone in need sooner than you think.
For me it came shortly after my course, 3 days later, I applied training to a distressed neighbour who was experiencing symptoms associated with a Mental Health Crisis.
I applied the simple yet highly effective MHFA – ALGEE First Aid Action Plan.
• Approach the person, assess and assist with any crisis.
• Listen and communicate non-judgementally.
• Give support and information.
• Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help.
• Encourage other supports.
To find out more about Mental Health First aid I invite you to visit https://mhfa.com.au/
By Maria Del Pilar Wrenn
Maria is a Holistic Health Therapist – which includes Holistic Counselling, Intuitive Spiritual Healing and Magic Herbalism. You can contact her via email firstname.lastname@example.org