Mental Health First Aid at the DioceseWednesday 12th May 2021
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. We pray for all those who are affected by mental health issues.
The Diocese of Salford has introduced a mental health first aid programme to better support the wellbeing of colleagues across the Professional Support Services with the view of extending this out to clergy and parish staff in time.
Through Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA) the Diocese have recently successfully trained 9 colleagues – including Bishop John and the COO – as Mental Health First Aiders.
The training provided volunteer colleagues with an in depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing, practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues, confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress, and how to offer the right support and give information on how to sensitively talk to other colleagues.
On completion of the course, trained colleagues can become the first point of contact for other colleagues that are struggling with their mental wellbeing.
Michael Moir, Health and Safety Coordinator, says: “Getting a broad spectrum of people who represent our colleague base was incredibly important when looking to train mental health first aiders. We have received an overwhelming level of support from our colleagues, which shows how much of an important topic mental wellbeing is.”
The training for the mental health first aiders also ensures that those individuals are aware of all the support available that can help their colleagues. “The additional training gives mental health first aiders a better understanding of the services that we currently offer such as our Telephone Counselling Service and external organisations” explains Michael.
The Diocese is now exploring ways to increasing its mental health first aider provision within parishes over the coming months.
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