10 July 2019

Acacia Training and MHFA England seek change with two-day mental health first aid course

Did you know one in four people experience a diagnosable mental health condition each year? Take a second to think about that. That’s about a quarter of our population who need the right support – and yet, about 70% of people with a mental illness receive no treatment at all*.

Acacia Training and Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA) want to change that. Most workplaces have someone with first aid training, but what about mental health first aid? Poor mental health costs us productivity, relationships, self-esteem – and lives. In 2017 there were 5,487 suicides in Great Britain, which means more than 15 people per day took their life. That’s just the people who succeeded.

Together with MHFA England, we want to drive those statistics down, because behind each one is a life and friends and family. We offer MHFA England approved training for your staff, to educate people that they can speak freely about mental health and get help when they need it the most.

Our two-day MHFA course:

  • Encourages people to challenge the language we use around mental health
  • Helps people to understand what good mental health looks like
  • Explores our frame of reference and the stigma attached to mental health, from both personal and societal perspectives
  • Explores the factors that can have an impact on your mental health
  • Looks at how you can support yourself and others with self-care, giving people skills to influence their own mental health and help prevent mental ill health
  • Teaches how to intervene (including in a crisis), reassure and signpost to further support
  • Teaches about diagnosable mental health conditions, what unwell looks like and how to spot these signs in yourself or others
  • Talks about what to do if you think someone is unwell and the steps to take for early intervention
  • Talks about recovery from mental illness and looking forward

Do Mental Health First Aid England training courses make a difference?

Data from MHFA England’s recently published first impact report showed people rated their confidence in supporting others with a mental health issue as 4.80 out of 10 before the training; after the training this increased to 8.27. In scoring their knowledge and understanding before the course, the average was 4.54 out of 10; this increased to 8.45 after the training. Overall, 98.5% of people rated the course as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. MHFA England has now trained over 400,000 people this year so far!

Most adults spend at least a third of their time at work and in the UK and mental ill health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costs employers £34.9 billion each year*. For more information about our courses click here.

*Information taken from MHFA England’s first impact report 2018-2019.

Did you know we also offer Youth Mental Health First Aid courses?

To become a youth mental health first aider you must complete a two-day YMHFA course. This course includes a mix of presentations, discussions and group work activities. When you have completed the course, you will receive a certificate to confirm that you are a trained Youth Mental Health First Aider.

By taking the course you will gain:

  • An in depth understanding of young people’s mental health and factors that affect wellbeing
  • Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues
  • Confidence to reassure and support a young person in distress
  • Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening
  • Knowledge to help a young person recover their health by guiding them to further support – whether that’s through self-help sites, their place of learning, the NHS, or a mix – engaging with parents, carers and external agencies where appropriate
  • Ability to support a young person with a long-term mental health issue or disability to thrive
  • Tools to look after your own mental wellbeing

For more information on Youth Mental Health First Aid courses click here.

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6 May 2019

Acacia Training asks employers to consider mental health first aid this Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

This Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 (May 13 – 19) Acacia Training is encouraging employers to consider mental health first aid.

We have trained over 500 Mental Health First Aiders with our two-day course delivered by Mental Health First Aid England trainers – and we’ve just started offering Youth Mental Health First Aid courses.

Our Mental Health First Aid Trainer Gary Peake, a former RAF regiment gunner, recently won a mental health ‘star’ award at the Thrive Mental Health Commission Awards for his work. He has taught our courses to major companies like Vodafone and Dufry and always receives fantastic feedback.

During 2019 Acacia Training will also be donating 10% of the income from our Mental Health First Aid courses to North Staffs Mind (http://nsmind.org.uk/). This is our way of ensuring we are using the course in a constructive way for our local communities, as well as meaning that the attendees are also contributing to something which is important to them.

Do you need mental health first aid training?

To become a Mental Health First Aider you must complete a two-day MHFA course. This is our most comprehensive awareness and skills course, which includes a mix of presentations, discussions and group work activities.

By taking a step towards understanding mental health in the workplace this Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 you’ll help to improve staff wellbeing, increase colleague engagement and increase staff performance.

The adult mental health course will:

  • Give a deeper understanding of the issues that impact on and relate to people’s mental health
  • Teach practical skills that can be used every day, including being able to spot symptoms and how to offer support

Mental Health First Aiders can:

  • Spot the early signs and symptoms
  • Start a supportive conversation
  • listen to the person nonjudgmentally
  • Assess the risk of self-harm
  • Maintain confidentiality as appropriate

Youth Mental Health First Aiders have:

  • An in depth understanding of young people’s mental health and factors that affect wellbeing
  • Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues
  • Confidence to reassure and support a young person in distress
  • Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening
  • Knowledge to help a young person recover their health by guiding them to further support – whether that’s through self-help sites, their place of learning, the NHS, or a mix – engaging with parents, carers and external agencies where appropriate
  • The ability to support a young person with a long-term mental health issue or disability to thrive
  • Tools to look after your own mental wellbeing

Our courses are based at Unit C1 Acacia House in Trentham Business Quarter, ST4 8GB, and run monthly with limited spaces. It is recommended to book ASAP to avoid disappointment! Call 01782 646346 or head to our Facebook page and click ‘events’ to book through Eventbrite. For more information click here.

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