PACIV Ireland associate, Geraldine Nolan, attended a Mental health, first-aid based training to be able to identify and offer help to a person who is developing a mental health problem or who is experiencing a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis is resolved. Mental Health First Aid is now internationally recognized in over 23 countries and over 1 million people worldwide have been trained in Mental Health First Aid skills.
The Standard Mental Health First Aid Ireland course teaches people how to provide MHFA. Participants learned the signs and symptoms of mental health problems and what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective. They also learned a framework for communication, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person towards appropriate treatments and other supportive help.
Mental Health First Aid training has been shown to improve attitudes towards people with mental health difficulties, reduce stigma, improve knowledge, and improve people’s confidence in providing help and likelihood to advise people to seek professional help. It has also been shown to improve participants own mental health.