We all know how crucial first aid is in a crisis, and that’s why we keep first aid boxes around. However, we often overlook our own mental health to the point where we don’t see the significance of MHFA (mental health first aid).
WHO estimates that 1 in every 8 people suffer from mental health challenges. So with such prevalence, it makes sense to take MHFA training so we can be ready to help someone in need.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about mental health first aid and how to act in a crisis scenario. So keep reading to find out.
What is Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)?
As Midss puts it, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the immediate care you can give to someone experiencing a mental health problem until proper medical professional help is found or the crisis is resolved.
The aim of mental health first aid is to
- Provide initial help which can prevent the mental health problem from becoming worse
- Protect and preserve life when someone may be a danger to himself/herself or others
- Promote recovery for better mental health
- Provide comfort and ease the suffering
- Know how to respond if a person has a panic attack or is dealing with anxiety problems
Both physical and mental health first aid is meant to provide immediate care before a professional arrives. However, MHFA differs because there’s usually no use of medications or physical treatments.
In mental health first aid training, you’ll learn:
- How to approach someone with a mental disorder,
- How to listen appropriately,
- How to give assurance to boost mental well-being
- What advice to administer and what support strategies to offer
Also, almost anyone can administer physical first aid if given adequate instructions. But mental health issues are different and require someone that has undergone MHFA training.
Why is Mental Health First Aid Important?
Here are a few reasons why mental health first aid is important to study:
1. Mental illness is prevalent
Although mental illness may be overlooked, it remains prevalent in our society. It’s estimated that 1 in every 8 people have mental health problems, and it’s more prevalent in adults, with 1 in every 4 adults being diagnosed with mental disorders.
So with such prevalence worldwide, we can’t overstress the significance of mental health first aid training in building a better society.
2. To prevent adverse effects of mental disorders
Mental disorders may not seem too dangerous at first, but they can be much worse than physical injury in some scenarios. Mental disorders can throw someone into a deep depression and anxiety state that can lead to suicide and harmful behavioral changes like aggression and substance abuse.
For anyone with mental health problems looking for help, Clarke, M., recommends BetterHelp, which is among the best online therapy services available.
3. Reducing mental health illiteracy
People with mental health problems often feel stigmatized, ashamed, guilty, or embarrassed, which may discourage them from getting help. So more education is needed to destigmatize mental health problems and encourage more people to take MHFA courses.
4. Restoring good mental health
MHFA also teaches people how to have good mental health and other habits they can do to boost their mental well-being.
Even before the arrival of a medical professional, mental health first aid can be effective in averting a crisis, controlling the situation, and preventing harm to the person and anyone around.
Who Should Attend An MHFA Course?
Mental health first aid is something that everyone should learn because anyone at any point in time can suffer from a mental health disorder. But without appropriate training, you can’t identify mental health problems or offer adequate solutions.
So we encourage you to consider taking mental health first aid course, especially if you want to:
- Learn how to identify signs and symptoms of mental health challenges
- Know the factors that increase the risk of mental illness
- Be aware of the available treatments
- Help someone with mental illness
- Know how to act appropriately and respond in a mental health crisis situation
By simply taking a course on mental health first aid, you’ll be able to help someone deal with depression, anxiety, low motivation, or someone contemplating suicide.
MHFA training not only shows you how to help others, but you can also apply the first aid training to yourself too.
Mental health first aid is just as important as physical first aid, but many people don’t realize it. You or anyone around you can suffer from a mental health breakdown at any moment, so it’s best to always be ready to respond.
And because mental health problems are so prevalent worldwide, it becomes more essential for you to take an MHFA course so you can identify and respond appropriately to problems that arise.
In addition, if it seems like the situation is getting out of hand, don’t waste any time before calling a mental health professional.