On Saturday (October 8th), I was lucky enough to attend the first event Middlesbrough have thrown to celebrate World Mental Health Day (WMHD – which is today by the way!), called Alright Middlesbrough. It was situated in Centre Square and absolutely filled with little stalls from all the different companies and charities looking to support the aim – to spread awareness of mental illness and work towards the theme of this year’s WMHD – Psychological First Aid.
About Centre Square, there were over 40 different companies delivering information about wellbeing – including the lovely people at Mind who gave us a cupcake in exchange for writing down something that made us smile, lots of useful information from the women at the Samaritans and also another lovely cake from the people at Tilly’s Cupcakes! It was amazing to see how many people were about to help support the cause and gain more information for themselves or loved ones.
Most importantly, I attended a course on the day – the Mental Health First Aid Lite course – run by Neil Carter and learnt some invaluable skills that I want to share. In brief, the course is basically like the standard First Aid At Work which so many of us have – except for your mind, instead of physical ailments. Neil taught us ALGEE instead of the typical ‘ABC’s you hear in First Aid at Work. ALGEE stands for Assess risk, Listen, Give reassurance, Encourage professional help and Encourage self-help. What I got out of the session most though was simple – treat mental health in the workplace ~or wherever~ with the kind of respect that you’d expect to be treat with, whether the illness mental or physical. Neil also shared with us the tips in the picture below on ‘Tips to Happier Living’.
The overall day was really worthwhile, I hope to see more councils trying to set days like these up in the near future! If you’d like to book on to a MHFA course near you, you can click the link here to see the closest to you.
**If you or your loved one’s condition is critical, suicidal, or just very worrying, please call 999. You can also contact the Samaritans on 08457 909090 24 hours a day or Mind‘s infoline on 0300 123 3393 (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm)**