Become a Youth – Mental Health First Aider with Melissa Gale

Last week, an old friend and advocate for mental wellbeing, invited me to be on her Marlow FM radio show to talk about making dreams come true.

It was a pretty indulgent hour, with a side of catharsis love, as we looked at our journey as a family, and my journey as a mother, and how we ended up going from being city slickers to beach loving, flip flop wears – yes I have a pair on right now.

Melissa Gale, the friend mentioned above, is an accredited Instructor of Youth Mental Health First Aid and I am super excited to be part of her ‘Become a Youth – Mental Health First Aider’ course in December.

Melissa is a Counsellor, Career Coach/Mentor and an Accredited Instructor Member MHFA and she is taking over the Visibility Blog today and I hope you will feel her passion for mental wellbeing and also look at join the course that I am sure will be amazing.

Over to you, Melissa…..

We all need to play our part in creating a future where mental health is treated as a normal part of life, in the same way as physical health. To contribute to mentally healthy, supportive environments in our families, schools, peer groups and / or communities.  We need to help create a future where every young person has access to support if they need it.

Did you know: 

  • 50% of mental health issues are established by age 14, and 75% by age 24
  • Suicide is the most common cause of death for people aged 5-19
  • Only one quarter of young people with a diagnosable mental health issues get access to treatment and care they need
  • There is an average delay of 10 years between a young person showing the first symptoms and getting help

Never has there been a greater need than right now to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to become a Mental Health First Aider.  With any mental health issue that starts to arise, we need to be taking notice, really understanding our young people, their worries, their concerns and supporting them to get the appropriate help asap.  In doing so, you can help speed up a young person’s recovery and stop a mental health issue from getting worse – and potentially stop a crisis from happening. 

A bit about me: first and foremost, I am a proud mum of two boys at secondary school.  And as all mums that want the best for their children, I want them to be healthy, feel happy and confident as they progress through life and be able to deal with life’s ups and downs.

A personal reflection on mental health first aid training – Jonathan's Voice

I am actively involved and passionate about Mental Health and Wellbeing.  I trained as a counsellor back in 2008 (member BACP), I volunteer at a local counselling charity supporting young people & adults and facilitate a Parent support Group too.  In addition to this, as part of a local NHS CCG project, I trained as an Accredited Instructor of Youth Mental Health First Aid – to deliver courses in 2020 and 2021 to front line staff who deal with young people on a day to day basis (delayed due to Covid19).  

My mission and my hope is to raise awareness of Mental Health within our communities, reduce stigma and discrimination and train others to essentially know how to notice the signs & symptoms, respond and sign post a person appropriately in times of difficulty or in crisis.

This new online interactive course incorporates individual learning and four live interactive sessions covering: About Mental Health; Depression & Anxiety; Suicide and Psychosis; Self-harm and Eating Disorders.

Being a Youth – Mental Health First Aider provide you with:

  • An in-depth understanding of young people’s mental health and factors that affect wellbeing
  • Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues
  • Confidence to reassure and support a young person in distress
  • Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening
  • Knowledge to help a young person recover their health by guiding them to further support – whether that’s through self-help sites, their place of learning, the NHS, or a mix – engaging with parents, carers and external agencies where appropriate
  • Ability to support a young person with a long term mental health issue or disability to thrive
  • Tools to look after your own mental wellbeing

Become part of a community of Mental Health First Aiders wanting to make a positive difference, wanting to make a positive change.

My training was completed with MHFA England – the only provider of licensed Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training in England. And the MHFA England Instructor Training Programme is accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health.

Please share on social!