On Monday 10th October 2016, individuals, charities and organisations across the world will be raising awareness of mental health illnesses. The theme for the 2016 World Mental Health Day, hosted by the World Federation for Mental Health, is ‘Dignity in Mental Health-Psychological & Mental Health First Aid for All’ and aims to address the stigma and discrimination experienced from those suffering mental health issues.
At some point in most of our lives we have reached out to (or been reached out by) someone who needed (or who recognised we needed) support in a time of crisis. It is an instinctive act; to care for, offer assistance to and support someone who is in need and we offer our support in many ways… from simply being there; listening and helping out in sometimes small ways but which mean so much more to us at that time. Sometimes we may even be the “first” to offer that “aid”.
“Mental Health First Aid” teaches us how to help a person developing a mental health problem (including a substance use problem), experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. Like traditional first aid, Mental Health First Aid is not about treating or diagnosing mental health or substance use conditions. Instead, it shows us how to offer initial support until either appropriate professional help is received or until the crisis resolves. All of us may need to build our confidence to do this with the people we are close to, our family, friends and colleagues.
Mental Health First Aid England is asking each of us today to “Take 10 Together” – to call in on someone – a friend, a family member, a colleague or student – and have a 10-minute conversation with them about them, how they are and their mental health and wellbeing.
Who will you “take 10 together” with today?