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Why I became a Mental Health First-Aider

Words by Marian Arnold-Lawson, account manager at NABS

I’ve always been interested in mental and emotional health and how it affects people. That’s why I came to work for NABS after a career in the corporate world.

Working with wellbeing issues every day, as we do at NABS, made me realise that I wanted to build up my skills when it came to dealing with sensitive issues. In my job on NABS’ partnerships team, I’m often confided in, which is a great privilege. I want to be able to handle matters sensitively and professionally so that I can really help people who are reaching out.

That’s why I signed up for the Mental Health First Aid certification.

It’s a two-day training course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue.

The course teaches you how to recognise the warning signs of mental ill health, while also gaining an understanding of how to support positive wellbeing.

It was a huge eye-opener and we covered an amazing amount of ground. We learned about mild depression, anxiety, self-harm, psychosis and even how to help someone who may be feeling suicidal. We also spoke about the stigma surrounding mental health, and how to help break that down. I learned so much and left with practical skills to help me help others.

One skill that really stood out for me was non-judgmental listening. You never know what someone else is going through. Sometimes, the most helpful thing you can do is to listen while someone talks out their problem, letting them speak without fear. If there’s one thing I think everybody should understand about supporting people’s mental and emotional health, it’s that.

The course really brought home for me the need for more support in every workplace, school and even at home so we can look out for those around us.

Your emotional and mental health are as important as your physical health and the more people who learn how to look out for warning signs the better.

NABS Advice Line is here for you if you’re having any mental health issues. NABS offers free, empathetic and impartial support, so please give us a call on 0800 707 6607 between 9am – 5.30pm or email [email protected]

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