Mental Health First Aid

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Health And Wellbeing Category: General, Mind and Body Healing, and Talking TherapiesHealth And Wellbeing Tags: 'Mental Wellbeing 4 Physical Health, awareness, Behaviour support, education for associate and qualified therapists, educational resources for schools, GAD (General Anxiety disorder), Health and Care Professionals, living with depression, Mental Health, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), North Wales, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD), professional development, self–harming, South West Wales, support and guidance, Wales, and young people

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  • Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) was pioneered by Betty Kitchener and Anthony Jorm in 2000, with the aim of increasing mental health literacy among the Australian community. The idea of MHFA is that people should be taught how to perform basic ‘first aid’ for those exhibiting signs of mental health distress, just as they are commonly taught first aid for physical problems. Betty Kitchener and Anthony Jorm assert that MHFA is available to increase knowledge, reduce stigma and increase supportive reactions in terms of mental health.

    Mental Health First Aid is for everyone. Mental Health problems are extremely common with one in four people experiencing some kind of mental health problem in any one year. Depression, stress and anxiety for instance, are widespread problems that affect thousands of people in Wales. Despite this, people do not always feel confident to discuss mental health or to offer the initial support that people need.

    Youth Mental Health First Aid

    YMHFA has been adapted from the adult MHFA programme developed by Betty Kitchener and Anthony Jorm in Australia. As with the MHFA programme the primary aims are to preserve life, to prevent deterioration, promote recovery and good mental health and to provide comfort to a person experiencing a mental health problem.

    The Youth Mental Health First Aid program aims to improve the awareness of mental health problems in the children’s workforce and the public as a whole. The program aim is to reduce stigma, promote help seeking behaviour and to provide initial intervention before professional help is delivered. While the program is suitable for all those working and living with young people, it can be targeted at those working with vulnerable young people, including looked after children, those leaving care, young offenders, refugees and asylum seekers.

    YMHFA has a focus on some of the issues that are particularly associated with young people such as substance misuse, including alcohol misuse, self-harm and eating disorders.

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