Mental Health Training

Cathartic, By Jane McNeice

Posted by on 25 Jul, 2016 in Mental Health | 0 comments

Cathartic, By Jane McNeice

When Mind Matters was asked by Cathartic to share our work with their audience, we were delighted to. We were delighted because we appreciate all opportunities to make a positive difference to the lives of people with mental health problems, whether that’s ensuring they have access to a range of professional support organisations such as those on our ‘Get Support Now’ webpage, or by ensuring they have access to self-help tools such as those on the Mind Matters ‘Resources’ page.

Mind Matters and the support website were set up in 2015 as a platform for sharing my late brother’s story of lived experience of severe Anxiety and Depression, a promise I had made to him close to his passing of Bowel cancer in 2014. A key aim of the website is to ensure that if someone was in crisis they would be able to find someone to talk to at any hour of the day or night.

As someone who also experiences Anxiety, I personally know just how important it is to raise your own and other people’s knowledge of mental health, in particular how to support someone and help them to access appropriate professional help. As such, another key aim of Mind Matters is to raise levels of mental health literacy, and we have some great internationally recognised and evidence based resources for doing so – step forward Mental Health First Aid! Some of the most rewarding courses we deliver at Mind Matters are the licensed Mental Health First Aid Training courses such as Youth MHFA, MHFA for Armed Forces, and the standard adult Mental Health First Aid course. In a society where knowledge of mental health and how to maintain good mental health is poor, these courses can make a significant difference, both to those who undertake the course and to those who receive support from a trained Mental Health First Aider. The courses are insightful, interactive, and a great source of training. All learners receive a manual and workbook, and have reported some great feedback

“The most useful course I have ever completed.”

“A true eye opener and incredibly valuable course with regards to both personal and professional aspects.”

“Everyone should do the course. It would help everyone to understand that mental health issues are a real illness. It was brilliant.”

Mind Matters is always looking to bridge the gap between the needs of its users and access to support, whether that’s ensuring people have access to self-help materials while waiting to receive services from mental health teams, or so that they can maintain good mental health without the need for professional support.

Mind Matters knows that it’s essential for people with poor mental health to receive early intervention, and in 2016 Mind Matters launched its very own aid to early intervention in the form of Hug-in-a-Box© which is a little box of comfort and relaxation products, including a pocket book of mindfulness. Most importantly, however, Hug-in-a-Box© is stigma free and contains a ‘Get Support Now’ card giving people the opportunity to access a range of professional mental health support services if they need them, and at the earliest opportunity.

Mind Matters was also delighted to write for Cathartic because the work they are doing is fantastic for people’s mental health and wellbeing. My own experience of Anxiety – life-long, variable, and still largely a work in progress – has not yet been shared in the Mind Matters blog, perhaps because I’m still learning to understand my own experience, despite having quite a few years to do so! A real revelation to my understanding, however, came recently when I read an article about High Functioning Anxiety. Whilst very mindful of the dangers of self-diagnosis, I do believe that we are often the experts in our own mental health, and this particular article resonated more than most. I had never truly understood how, with Anxiety, I have been able to work to a demanding level, perform, meet my own and other peoples expectations, and most of all, to function. Because the writer had taken a decision to share their experience, they were able to help themselves in a cathartic way, but they were also able to support someone else to understand and to be enlightened. If you’re thinking about sharing your story, there’s potential for great personal benefit in expressing your experience through the written word, but there’s also potential to help someone else to understand his or her mental health and to not feel alone. I like to think of this as the ‘ripple effect’ that can provide positive benefits for many people’s mental health and wellbeing.

New things are always on the horizon at Mind Matters HQ, and we’re very much looking forward to delivering our first ‘Exploring What Matters’ course in the New Year following recent approval from the world renowned charity Action for Happiness. You can keep up-to-date with the work of Mind Matters by signing up to receive our monthly e-news at the website.

And on a personal note, I too am now looking forward to the benefits of sharing my own lived experience blog about my own Anxiety…

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