Mental Matters May 2013 - Page 5

EVERYONE is familiar with first-aid and it's a mandatory requirement in most workplaces, institutions and everyday organisations. Someone is always on hand to stem the flow in a potential crisis – should the need arise. The majority of us are not walking about secretly masking as Doctors and waiting to pop-out and diagnose everyone by an article we've read on Wikipedia. In a true crisis, we are taught mouth-to-mouth, CPR and not to move somebody who has taken a fall. Mostly, it's common sense but life saving initiatives are drummed into us all. But where does that leave someone in a mental health crisis? drop the security of a fulltime wage and take the risk of building up a business with the aim of passing this message on to as many people as possible across the whole of Scotland. and I learned so much from it.” EMPLOYERS “But we need more mental health first-aiders. Everywhere. Throughout all walks of life.” Details of all courses in Scotland can be found at and for a full list of course by Amanda then head to COURAGE Amanda O'Connell made that brave decision and is now working independently as an instructor all across the country. Courses have been set up from Aberdeen to Glasgow, with individuals and businesses the main targets for a reasonable fee. Amanda explains to me why she made this radical career change. She said: “I realised that there were very few courses out there at evening or weekends. “If someone wanted to do this course, but wasn't part of their job then most courses were at a time unavailable to them. “My motivations for setting up a business running this course around Scotland were mainly to make the general public more aware of the course, and also make it as accessible as I could for them, particularly at days, times and locations where there were not courses already being offered.” Talking about mental health every-day can't be easy but Amanda reveals her motivations behind the project. She continues: “What I loved most that I wasn't sitting learning about the theory behind mental health conditions. “I was learning the practical skills about how best to help people – and it was these skills that I needed in order to make a difference to people, not theory. “It was an interactive course – activities, discussions, case studies and film clips. “I thought the course would be very heavy in content, but the fact it was so activity based made it enjoyable Talking to employers about your own mental health isn't an easy subject to broach but the openness Amanda shared with her previous employer encouraged this path. Her ex-boss identified that if they had perhaps done the training than it would have made things easier, when Amanda or any other colleague took ill due to their mental health. TESTIMONIAL FROM AN ACTIVE POLICE OFFICER SIGNPOSTING FOR HELP In reality, there isn't much Y\[H\ۈ[Y \\[ۈ[Y]H\]\H\ۉH[YH[Hو\[H[]]Y\\Y[[X[[[\[\H[Z[H[Y\ːH[\H L\\H][YܚY[[HH]\[XH\H\\XX[\H]]Y\[\ܝ[[H[HZYوܚ\\˂[X[H^Z[Έ8'H[YH]]\\Hܚ[H\HX܈YYY[[X[\ZY[8$]\UTSӑH\H[]H[Y\\HH\H[[Y[ۙH]HY[[X[؛[K8'H[]ٙ\[\Z[[[HY][H[H][HX[H[YXZHHY\[K'B'\]HX[HY][\YZXYKHX[HY‚[8&\Y[[X[\ZY RJH\\YۙYXZH[[ۙHݙ\Yٙ\[ۘ[\ZHZ[Z[Y\H\ZY\\ۉXZH[HH܋] X]X[Y[[[YYX]H\[Yۜ[[[]YX[HY[[[\[[Z\[وY]ˈ[YH\]Z[[[[]\[X\[H\Y]Hܚ[[H[\HX܈[][Hˈ[[Y\وܚ\\[[]YX[X\[ۈ[\HHYH]܈ۙHRHZ[\\YH\Y[[YHHX\[ۈ‚H[ܙHH[X]Y[[X[[[ۙY]HH[ܙHH[\XHXX[X][H[H]\KHݙ\Y[\[\[Y[YHY[[X[]YH[Y[X[KZHX[H\[Y]H]RH[HXYH\[ܞH[\Y\HZH[\\ZY\H\ˈH۝[Y\Έ8'H[Y]H]܈]\H[\Y\]\X[]ܞH]HZ[Y[\[\ XZY\][[HX[]ܞH]HZ[YY[[X[\ XZY\˂H[]Y\Z[[\\HH\XH[\[\X[H]X[ܙH[HXHXZ][H]]X[ܙH[\]K[Y^H[YܛH[\Yܙ\XX[H\H\\K'BQQSԑB[X[Hۈ]\']] \Hݙ\Y[][H[[ܙH\H8$] [HH[[وYK8'HY[]H\Y[YH\H\H[H\Hو[\ZYۚ[܈Y][[H[[H[H\]XZH[ۙ^HK[X[[Z