MHFA – Men don’t choose to do this course, right?

adult mental health first aid course

MHFA for men – June 2021

The skills gained by completing an MHFA course are transferable to any social setting, family gathering or interacting with strangers we meet during our normal daily lives.

Simply put; Mental Health First Aid is empowering.

This article explores why I felt the need to offer an MHFA for men course specifically.

Last year I decided to add the Adult MHFA course to my services.  It was quite an investment for an additional licence to deliver both the adult and youth courses, but I saw it as exactly that – an investment in my business; to be able to offer the corporate world a reputable training course.

As a new Bill that would make ‘mental health first aid’ (MHFA) training in the workplace a legal requirement moves onto its second reading in Parliament, it’s no wonder that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently published updated guidance to help employers support staff experiencing a mental health issue.

The HSE’s updated first aid guidance states companies should consider ways to “manage mental ill health in your workplace which are appropriate for your business”.

1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year

The reality is that mental health is everywhere.  Just as we experience changes in our physical health, the same is true with our mental health.  The difference is we’re just not used to talking about it in the same way.  Whereas we’re only too happy to tell people we’ve got a bad back or injured ourselves in some way, most people still prefer to remain quiet about their mental health.

STIGMA

We don’t like talking about our mental health because we’re worried about what other people may think.

We worry that they’ll treat us differently, judge us or maybe even avoid us altogether.

But the fact is, there is no health without mental health.

Stigma-Mental-Health

During Men’s Health Week (June 2021), I decided to host a part-funded MHFA course for men only.  It was an experiment really if I’m honest.  An experiment to see if I could find 8 men who would commit to the full 15 hr Adult MHFA training, in their own time and not because their work was making them do it.  I aimed to find 8 who would commit…but I ended up with 11.  Not a bad start.

Why men?  Because more men (75%) than women (25%) die by suicide in Great Britain every year.  Men aged 45-49 still have the highest rate of suicides than any other age range.

I wanted to create a space where men could open up and talk about mental health, ask any questions they had, be educated a little and leave the course with a new sense of confidence to start conversations – at work, at home, the pub…anywhere.

They didn’t disappoint.  From the outset, the group were incredible!  Engaged, interactive, challenging at times (in a really good way), thoughtful and willing to share their own thoughts and feelings.

It was an absolute honour to facilitate this unique course, and I’m already planning the next!

“Excellent course, well structured for online delivery, and brilliantly delivered by Matt. Informative content, thought-provoking case studies. A great opportunity to talk with other men about our experiences and preconceptions around mental health. I definitely feel better prepared to provide support, and more likely to challenge the stigma around mental health issues”

Online Men’s MHFA delegate, June 2021.

If you would like to know more about our MHFA courses or to book onto our next available dates, simply click here

We currently offer the following MHFA courses for both online and face-to-face delivery:

  • Adult MHFA (15 hr)
  • Adult Mental Health Aware (half-day)
  • Youth MHFA (15 hr)
  • Youth Mental Health Aware (half-day)

For more information, please visit www.loftustraining.com

About Matt

Matt is passionate about sharing knowledge with others and supporting those experiencing poor mental health.  Alongside delivering MHFA courses, he currently volunteers as a crisis volunteer for Shout85258; helping others experiencing anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation.

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