October 10, 2016
Today is … World Mental Health Day
Today, 10th October, marks World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues and looking at new ways to support those suffering with their mental health.
Every World Mental Health Day has a theme: this year the focus is on Psychological First Aid (PFA) and looking at the support people can provide to those in distress or experiencing a Mental Health crisis.
So what is PFA?
Psychological first aid is first-line psychosocial support after a crisis event. It is non-intrusive, practical care which involves assessing the sufferer’s needs and helping to address them – providing comfort and making them feel calm.
For many healthcare professionals, PFA is already a major part of their work BUT learning these skills is still relevant for non-professionals too. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has found that people experiencing a crisis do significantly better long-term if they have been made to feel safe and connected to others, and have access to social and emotional support. It doesn’t take a professional to make someone feel safe, and you don’t need to take a course to check in with someone and acknowledge how they are feeling.
One of the main awareness points the WHO is trying to get across this year is that crisis events can be large or small, affecting whole communities or an individual, and that they can occur in every community across the world.
So, what can you do?
The Mental Health Foundation wants to get the UK talking about mental health with friends, family and work colleagues, so why not hold a Tea & Talk? It’s a great way to get talking about mental health and raise some money for a great cause.
Have a natter.
For some really easy to follow tips on the best (and worst) things to say and do when someone you know is suffering a crisis, check out this brilliant introduction to PFA.
And if you’ve been inspired to take a training course then take a look at the Mental Health First Aid England website.
Love, Sarah and the One Day Team x