The responsibilities of a Mental Health First Aider are centered around providing crucial support to individuals experiencing mental health challenges. It’s essential to understand that, after completing the course, you won’t become a therapist or a psychology professional tasked with treating mental health issues.
Your role is that of a supportive figure—a crucial initial point of contact for those navigating mental health concerns. Wearing a distinctive mental health first aider badge or lanyard, you become a recognisable presence in your workplace, someone others can turn to for assistance.
Throughout the course, you’ll develop the skills to offer mental health first aid for various conditions, including depression, self-harm, psychosis, suicidal crises, anxiety disorders, and more. The ALGEE strategy and action plan serve as your toolkit for making a positive impact:
- Approach the person, assess, and assist with any crisis.
- Listen and communicate non-judgmentally.
- Give support and information.
- Encourage the person to seek appropriate professional help.
- Encourage other support.
Always prioritise your own mental health. While embracing the role of a mental health first aider voluntarily, be attuned to your well-being. If, at any point, you sense that the role may impact your own comfort, feel empowered to step down. Your commitment to supporting others is commendable, but self-care remains paramount. Your effectiveness as a mental health first aider is rooted in maintaining your own well-being.