1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness. Majority of people are not knowledgeable or confident to offer assistance.
Physical first aid is accepted and widespread, however, most do not cover mental health problems. Learn how to respond to a mental health crisis in order to help someone that you might be concerned about.
Listening + communicating is a very important skill to have. When listening + communication, it is important for a person giving first aid, to set aside any judgments.
Most people experiencing distressing emotions + thoughts want someone to listen empathetically before offering options + resources that may be helpful.
When listening + communication non-judgementally, the person giving first aid needs to adopt certain attitudes plus use verbal + non-verbal communication to:
It is important to listen + communicate non-judgementally at all times when providing mental health first aid.
Once a person with a mental health problem has felt listened to, it can be easier for the person providing first aid to offer support + information.
The support to offer at the time includes emotional support, such as empathising with how they feel + giving them the hope of recovery, and practical help with tasks that may seem overwhelming at that moment.
Also, the person giving the first aid can ask the person whether they would like some information about mental health problems.
The person giving first aid can also tell a person about the options available for help + support.
People with mental health problems will generally have a better recovery with appropriate professional help.
However, they may not know the options that are available, such a counselling, psychotherapy and/or medication, plus support for family + friends.
The person giving first aid can encourage the person to use self-help strategies and to seek support from family, friends + others.
Other people (peers) who have experienced mental health problems can also provide valuable help in a person’s recovery.
Measure whether you have been affected by depression or anxiety during the past four weeks. Focus on to how you’ve been feeling over the past four weeks. Answer each question that best reflects your thoughts, feelings and behaviour.