As it’s World Suicide Prevention Day, it seems an appropriate time to discuss Mental Health First Aid.
In addition to managing Pryers’ technology infrastructure, our IT Manager, Jonny Gill, is our physical and mental health first aider; he obtained the latter qualification after completing a course with York Mind. For World Suicide Prevention Day, he talks about what the course entailed and how his new skills have enhanced the business.
At the beginning of this year, I spoke with our CEO about the possibility of attending a Mental Health First Aid course provided by York Mind. He agreed that this was an important thing to take consideration and care of, and agreed that the company would pay for my attendance on the course.
The two days of the course were incredibly interesting but also tiring, obviously discussing some very intense situations and emotions, however I would say that the skills and knowledge I have taken away from it are invaluable, and I really think that every company should have at least one person who has been on that course.
Mental health issues, sadly, are very common. On top of that, people often spend somewhere near half their waking hours at work, so knowing that there is someone there who cares and can not only listen but point in the direction of appropriate material and contacts is hopefully very helpful. I have had people speak to me about their mental health issues, having never done so before, since coming back from the course. I’m just hopeful that being there has been helpful for them, and that maybe this can encourage other companies to invest in mental health support in their workplaces.
Mind provide a number of helpful walkthroughs on their website for assisting people who are having difficulty with their mental health. There is one specifically for helping people who are having suicidal thoughts.
Suicidal feelings don’t only affect people who have “bad” lives, and they really can affect anyone. It’s important to remember that often when people are feeling suicidal, they don’t want to reach out as they can often feel like a burden. In these kinds of situations, if you can, it’s important to try and keep in touch with people who you think may be at risk and see if there is any way you can help, and remember to be kind and non-judgemental.