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The power of mental health self-awareness

Learning and Development Team

Mental Health Awareness
Mental Health Awareness

Self-Awareness: The Key to Taking Care of Your Mental Health and Wellbeing

Put simply, self-awareness is shining a light on the parts of your internal world that might otherwise get buried down, pushed aside or go unnoticed. Your “internal world” just means your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and urges. Awareness of these aspects of yourself is the first step to change and growth. After all, you can’t change what you don’t know about. - Dr Jacqueline Baulch

People don’t necessarily always know they’re unwell. That was certainly the case for me during my own experience of mental illness - I thought I was being daft and overly-sensitive.

I never imagined I was in a deep depression when my manager suggested I visit the GP to talk about how I was feeling. Had she not suggested seeking mental health support, I would certainly not be where I am today, which is a much healthier and self-aware version of my previous self.

How targeted training and education can help
Mental Health First Aid training gives you vital tools, knowledge and skills to recognise the symptoms of common mental health issues. It empowers you to have important, genuine, yet sensitive conversations with people when they’re having a tough time and don’t know what to do. Or when they’ve been diagnosed with a mental health issue and need an understanding presence from someone who has some context – drawing on personal experience, a training program, or both.

Why talking matters
Being able to both listen and have non-judgmental conversations can offer real relief to someone who is experiencing distress or difficulty. As is supporting them appropriately without stepping over the boundary of ‘diagnosing’: that should be left to the medical professionals.

The benefits of an empowered workforce
Mental ill health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costs £34.9 billion each year. Other reputable research estimates this cost to be as high as £74–£99 billion. The total cost of mental ill health in England is estimated at £105 billion per year - MFHA England

At this stage, Mental Health First Aid isn’t mandatory in organisations, however there is an expectation that this will change in the near future. For organisations, it is a great time to get ahead of the curve and empower employees with these vital skills. There is a proven relationship between mental health, workplace safety and productivity and we should do everything we can to raise awareness and support workplace wellbeing through initiatives such as these.

Delegate feedback
Before this course I would have avoided this topic and any issues relating to the term or subject 'MENTAL', categorising all people with any mental health troubles as too much trouble 'AVOID', this is obviously led by prejudices and ignorance of the facts and negative impression due to the rubbish I watched on TV and read.

I found the course very informative, interesting, challenging and thought provoking - changing my views totally on people suffering from the various types of mental illnesses from avoid to help and we (as a business) could possibly employ.

It also helped me to put into perspective/clarify a few personal/family issues and experiences I have had in the past; with regard to family mental illness matters - shining a new light on why I have reacted and others have reacted the way we have whilst dealing with these issues, reflecting on how (with a little more knowledge and empathy) we/I could of handled it better and supported the member having the illness.

Sally, our instructor, was very good with personal references/experiences from her own life and people she knew both personally and professionally, setting the scene and putting various issues into context.

I thoroughly recommend this course it will help you in all walks of life - not just at work! I now feel I intend to help someone (with my new understanding and mental first aid training) the future not 'avoid'. I wish I had had this training/positive insight earlier in my life/career. Engineering Director, Folkestone, UK

To learn more about how targeted mental health training can help you and you team, you can attend our upcoming courses that focus on mental health awareness and mental health first aid that help you recognise some common mental health issues and how you can offer support.

For more information or to book, contact training@imeche.org 

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