Learning Mental Health First Aid Might Save Someone You Love

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What do you know about mental health first aid? Everyone knows the concept of first aid, the idea that you can offer some basic medical assistance in cases of emergencies big and small. Many times receiving first aid while medical professionals are on the way is the difference between life and death. With first aid being such a big thing for your body, why isn’t there first aid for mental health? Well, it turns out that there is! It has been around for a little bit over a decade now but it isn’t very well known. That’s why I wanted to highlight mental health first aid and stress its importance.


What is Mental Health First Aid?

First aid for your mental health is exactly what it sounds like.  It can be a little bit more complicated than traditional first aid. The mental health first aid begins with being able to identify when someone is struggling with their mental health then getting them to open up about what they’re feeling and what is causing them trouble in their life. As well as teaches you how to talk to people who are struggling. Mental health first aid  teaches you the right language to use to get them to open up to offer some basic help. It can even help you talk someone down in cases where their lives are at risk.


Where do I Get Mental Health First Aid Training?

Just like regular first aid courses there are mental health first aid courses offered all over the world. Though because they are a newer concept you won’t find them in every town. In the United States you can find a course being held near you on the USA Mental Health First Aid website. Courses are offered for adults as well as youths.


What Can I Do Now?

Even if you haven’t taken one of the mental health first aid courses there are still things you can do to help friends, family members, and even strangers in a time of need.

  • First, assess their risk of suicide or self harm. This might be seen in them withdrawing from their family and friends, acting recklessly, and feeling hopeless, as well as more obvious signs like looking for a way to self harm or threatening to hurt themselves. If their life is in immediate danger then call emergency services at 911. If you’re worried that someone you love is at risk of suicide call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.
  • Lend them an ear. Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone in need is offer a sympathic, non-judgemental conversation where they can unload to someone who is patient and just there for them.
  •  Reassure them that what they’re going through isn’t their fault and that there are ways for them to get help. Offer to help them find the resources they need to get that help from professionals.

Finally, encourage them to engage in some self-help which will aid in the recovery process. This might mean taking a yoga class with them or helping them find a social network that will help support them.

Have you been struggling mentally during the past few months? I know I have and felt the need to provide information aid in that struggle. Please be well!!!

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LaToyia, The Motivated Mom


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