It is very important to understand that after course completion you will not become a therapist or psychology professional. You will not be able to treat anyone who has ill mental health.
Instead, your role is simply a supportive one, like the title suggests, you will be the first contact to those who possibly could have mental health related issues. You can wear a special mental health first aider badge or lanyard. So people at your workplace could recognise and approach you if they need your help as a mental health first aider.
On the course, you will be taught how to give mental health first aid for different conditions like depression, self-harm, psychosis, suicidal crisis, anxiety disorder, etc. You will be equipped with a strategy and action plan called ALGEE.
The ALGEE plan acronym stands for
- Approach the person, assess and assist with any crisis
- Listen and communicate non-judgmentally
- Give support and information
- Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help
- Encourage other support
Remember your own mental health is always the priority. You choose to be a mental health first aider voluntarily. If at any given time you feel that it can affect your own mental comfort and you don’t feel like supporting others, consider stepping down from a mental health first aider role.