By Katrina Ward, Mental Health First Aider
Just over a year ago, I signed up for the training to become a Mental Health First Aider and I’m so glad I did.
The training was amazing. Spread across two days it gave me an in-depth understanding of how mental health can affect people’s lives, and the coping mechanisms that people might turn to. Importantly, it also taught me how Mental Health First Aiders can play an incredibly important role in supporting others.
I had a few personal reasons for taking on the course. I have suffered with depression and anxiety, with alcohol being my go-to in hard times; I understand how debilitating it can be so I feel I can empathise with others.
I also have first-hand experience of how seeking help and support can absolutely turn your life around, and I want to be able to share that positive message wherever I can.
It’s important that people are able to talk to someone, without judgement and completely confidentially.
I’m here to listen and signpost people to resources that can offer, potentially lifesaving, support. I always want to be a part of the movement in encouraging people to be open about their struggles.
Like physical health, mental health needs to be looked after and I will continue to develop, take on more qualifications and support those who need it.
Time to Talk Day is definitely a positive step. Anything to build awareness and remove the stigma can make a real difference to people’s lives. I think every day should be a Time to Talk Day.