Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an educational course which teaches people the skills and knowledge to identify, understand and support a person who may be developing a mental health illness. In the same way as we learn physical first aid, Mental Health First Aid courses teach you how to recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health. Mental health first aid is not about diagnosis nor giving counselling or psychotherapy. As a physical first aider does what they have been taught to support an injured person whilst waiting for an ambulance and paramedics to arrive, a Mental Health First Aider supports and signposts an affected person to appropriate help.
Developed in Australia in 2000 and now internationally recognised in over 26 countries, the MHFA courses teach people how to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues, provide help on a first aid basis and effectively guide someone towards the right support services.
Using my work and life experience and professional training I help you gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to effectively apply mental health first aid where and when it is needed.
With a business background, I understand the enormous cost that mental ill-health has on a business and the economy and the devastating impact it can have on the individual, their family, friends and colleagues. My life experience has included stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, ADHD/ADD, OCD, CD, bereavement, anger, panic attacks, psychosis (bipolar disorder and schizophrenia) and self-harm amongst family, friends and colleagues.
As a National Trainer (w.e.f. Dec 2018) and Associate Instructor (Commercial and Community Teams w.e.f. April 2018 and February 2019) with Mental Health First Aid England and as an Associate with other organisations, my goal is to effectively increase mental health literacy and reduce the discrimination and stigma associated with mental ill-health, one person at a time. If a person feels knowledgeable enough to talk about mental health comfortably we are on the road to achieving that goal.
I’ve had a cosmopolitan life, born in Ealing, London but have also lived in Antigua, Sierra Leone and Rhodesia (as it was called when I was 7) and into Zimbabwe. Going to university in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa, I returned to work in the chemical industry in Zimbabwe. In 2005, I returned to the UK with my children to give them hope and a future that I no longer saw for them in Africa. In 2012 I married Roger and in our spare time we sail the Southampton Water and the Solent in our classic (circa 1960) Folkboat, Blue Mist, with a dream to go further when time permits. In other free moments I do a variety of creative crafts and read an eclectic range of books.
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