Croydon residents are being encouraged to become mental health first aiders and develop the skills and confidence to support others across their community.
Mental Health Awareness Week runs from today (May 10) until Sunday. This year’s theme is nature and the benefits it can play in improving mental health.
The week is a timely reminder of the problems millions have experienced because of the pandemic. Official figures recently released show that one in five adults have experienced symptoms of depression between January and March 2021.
Croydon Council, together with Transport for London, funds a training programme open to all Croydon residents to enable them to become mental health first aiders. Everyone who completes the course receives a certificate from Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England.
The Community MHFA programme was launched in collaboration with Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid in July 2020 and we now have opportunities to train in the evenings and at weekends.
The online course, which runs over four half days, teaches participants to recognise warning signs of mental ill health and develop the skills and confidence to support someone – while keeping yourself safe – as well as helping that person access different kinds of help. In addition participants will gain an understanding of issues around mental health to help tackle stigma about mental health.
“Once again Croydon Council is proud to support Mental Health Awareness Week and all week our social media will be sharing tips on how to get in touch with nature so you can improve your mental health.
“We are also encouraging people to volunteer and become mental health first aiders to help others in our community. Since we launched this campaign more than 250 people have attended this funded course which just shows how our wonderful community is willing to step up and play its part.”
Councillor Janet Campbell, cabinet member for families, health and social care
Find out how you can become a mental health first aider at: www.croydon.gov.uk/health-and-wellbeing/mental-health-and-wellbeing/could-you-be-mental-health-first-aider