What is mental health first aid?
Most people are aware of the first aid and first aid courses. First aid and those qualified to administer first aid are lifesavers in many companies or just in society at large. Those qualified in first aid knowledge and understand what needs to be done when someone is injured or has a medical emergency. The conventional first aid course is centred around physical health; however, when it comes to mental health a different kind of first aid is needed.
A mental health first aid course is a course that is ideally suited for someone working in a care or mental health environment. Through a better understanding of mental health matters such as recognising the symptoms and knowing how a person is likely to be thinking or feeling, a mental health first aid course equips students with skills to respond quickly and effectively in any situation.
A mental health first aid course is an effective course that gives the basic level of understanding about mental health in general as well as some of the disorders
Defining mental health and recognising the symptoms sits is one of the areas covered, while the course will not make you a qualified doctor it will nonetheless be extremely valuable in the workplace. Misdiagnosis is easy with mental health issues and a mental health first aid course will reduce the chances of this.
Secondly, a mental health first aid course teaches students how to respond to mental health matters. Just as things are with a conventional first aid course, there are a number of recommended and appropriate steps to follow when it comes to mental health. Again, as with misdiagnosis, not understanding the procedures can lead to further problems. Learning how to respond appropriately is the first thing taught and secondly how to refer a person or “next steps” is covered.
Thirdly, a mental health first aid course covers the medication and care required for mental disorders. The course will not enable you to prescribe drugs but it will cover details about the medication. Knowing what the medication does, how it works and what potential side effects may occur is important for mental health patients. With a basic knowledge of medication, assisting and caring for patients becomes easier and more appropriate. With an understanding of how to better care for a patient, many benefits arise both for the learner, the patient and the loved ones of the patient.
Finally, a mental health first aid course deals with the stigma of mental health. Mental health is continuously in the spotlight and this course identifies the facts about the disorders, the industry itself and the discrimination that happens. Myths are exposed and reality is placed under the microscope. Gaining an understanding of the pressures that exist within the mental health field allows a student to fully appreciate the challenges and see the big picture of which they may just be a small part of.