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HomeMagazineBerkshireBasics of Mental Health First Aid

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Mojatu Foundation

by Chloe Jones

There are 5 basic steps for an action plan in terms of any mental health first aid. It is important to remember you are listening to understand rather than to be understood.

1 Approach the person, assess and assist with any crisis

2 Listen and communicate non-judgmentally

3 Give support and information

4 Encourage the young person to get appropriate professional help

5 Encourage other supports

You can remember this information using the ALGEE acronym

The aims of any first aid are to preserve life, prevent deterioration of any injury, promote healing and recovery, and provide comfort to the ill and injured

Youth Mental Health First Aid is the help given to a young person experiencing a mental health issue before professional help is obtained.

The aims of MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) are to:

  • Preserve life where a young person may be a danger to themselves or others
  • Provide help to prevent the emotional or mental health issue from developing into a more  serious state
  • Promote the recovery of good mental health
  • Provide comfort to a young person experiencing a mental health issue
  • Raise awareness of mental health issues in the community
  • Reduce stigma and discrimination

It will not teach you to be a therapist however, it does teach people to:

  • recognise symptoms of mental health issues
  • provide initial help
  • enable a young person to access appropriate professional help

Through training to become a mental health first aider, you are able to respond, using suitable language and a calm, collected attitude, and making it a comfortable and safe environment for someone to confide in.

Hopefully inspiring plenty more people to open up and trust that telling someone will make a positive difference.

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