Understanding residents with mental illness
Published by HearFirst for HearFirst in Housing and also in Communities, Education
Hundreds of front line housing staff face an abundance of questions and issues on a daily basis but are your staff able to spot the symptoms of residents with mental illness and more importantly, would they know how to support them?
How do you know if someone is unwell? How far should you go to intervene? How can you find out more about the varying conditions? What are the symptoms? What can you do to help?
These are the questions that may be asked and training your staff to understand mental illness is a key step to offering a fairer service to your residents.
To coincide with World Mental Health Day today (Wednesday, October 10), award winning workplace training and consultancy company, HearFirst is aiming to raise awareness of mental health issues within the housing sector.
Julie Ryder, Director and Founder of HearFirst, said: “With approximately 450 million people worldwide reported to have a mental health problem and one in four British adults experiencing at least one diagnosable problem in any one year, housing organisations need greater awareness to spot and identify the signs of mental health issues.
“Mental Health First Aid Training is ideal for all front line staff, managers who are responsible for strategic decisions affecting residents and those supporting and working with young people. The more people aware of the causes and symptoms of mental health issues, the better support that landlords, family, friends and work colleagues can do to help other people and I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved in supporting World Mental Health Day.”
Lancashire-based third sector company, M3 Project offers a variety of accommodation services to homeless young people aged 16-25. The team attended a two-day Mental Health First Aid training course delivered by HearFirst, which covers the causes, symptoms and treatments of common mental health problems.
Alan Dorrington, Project Manager for M3 Project identified a need for the training and said: “Mental health issues are common amongst the young people we work with. We didn’t do this just to comply with legislation or to become mental health professionals; we felt we needed more information to help us in our work. It was a case of knowing more to understand better.’
“I now realise that everyone is somewhere on the mental health continuum and we all move around at different rates. It’s made me think differently about mental health and I’m much more aware to give people time. The training was excellent value for money. I have arranged for further training for the host families who open their homes to our young people.’
Also attending the training was Joanne Mitchell, Senior Project Worker Teenage Family Move-On who said: “A lot of the information we covered was thought provoking and my general opinion of young people and mental health issues have altered. The training assisted with breaking down barriers to more effective working with young people who have mental health issues. I think most people would benefit from this training.”
Organised by World Health Organisation, World Mental Health Day is an annual event to raise awareness of mental disorders and better access to treatment for all people who need it.
For more information on Mental Health First Aid Training, please contact Julie Ryder at HearFirst on 01706 872 816 or visit www.hearfirst.org.uk. For more information on World Mental Health Day, please visit www.who.int/en