Author: Ruth Burdett, Graduate School Manager - Faculty of Engineering and Design
This week I did the Mental Health First Aid course that the university runs from time to time. The course was attended by colleagues from all areas of work from security staff, student support, placements and administrators.
The course covers a range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and psychosis. The aim is to leave attendees feeling confident about their ability to deliver mental health first aid should the situation arise and this is what it delivered. I would have more confidence now dealing with an individual in a distressed state than previously, and more so than if I had to deal with a physical injury.
It was hard at times to think about issues, particularly where they might relate to one’s own experiences, family, friends or colleagues, but the course was run in an extremely supportive manner, and we all knew we could step outside if needed (no-one did). As someone affected by the Doctoral College developments it has made me think about my own mental health and that of my team, and the importance of really listening and acknowledging how people are feeling.
If you haven’t done this course then I recommend you book on the next one, whatever your role. You will gain a wider understanding of mental health and also a wider perspective on the university community as a whole.