Completion Certificate for Mental Health First Aid Instructor

Mental Health First Aid Part 2 - Why am I teaching it?

mental health first aid new beginnings purpose small business Oct 09, 2023

With a 20-year career in worksite health and well-being programs, I have witnessed how employers invest in employee happiness and health. I gained a lot of expertise in determining effective and ineffective approaches. My experience leading a successful team in this field sets the stage for my passion for teaching Mental Health First Aid. So, why, after a successful and enjoyable career, am I interested in teaching Mental Health First Aid? A few reasons: 

  1.  Freedom and Flexibility: I yearned for a lifestyle with greater flexibility, realizing that traditional 8-to-5 desk work (I love the song ‘9 to 5’ but where I come from the workday begins at 8 a.m. or before!) didn't align with my well-being goals. This transition allows me to focus on family and home projects while promoting sound well-being practices for myself. The autonomy to teach Mental Health First Aid independently, while adhering to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing's curriculum, opened up exciting possibilities. 
  2.  Stop the Stigma: MHFA equips learners with facts about mental health conditions, promoting open conversations like those we have about physical health. Breaking the silence can lead to earlier help-seeking, better outcomes, and faster recovery. (If I can learn the exact number of polyps someone just had removed as a result of their colonoscopy, I think it should be completely normal to talk about helpful self-care or counseling strategies!) 
  3. Using my Gifts:  Embracing our gifts (strengths) and relying on our social/professional networks to complement our weaknesses is a wise approach. Recognizing my comfort in facilitating group training and discussing uncomfortable topics, such as suicide, I aim to make a difference. Through Mental Health First Aid, I've learned to identify early warning signs of mental health challenges and the power of intervention. Sharing this vital knowledge is a calling I'm eager to answer. 

Reader, thanks so much for staying with me! It is important to clarify that I am an instructor for Mental Health First Aid training for groups, not a counselor or clinician. I do not engage in one-on-one counseling or address personal dilemmas. My role is like that of a First Aid or CPR instructor, providing essential skills until more qualified medical help arrives. Being trained in Mental Health First Aid opens up the possibility or more humanity and open conversations when it comes to protecting mental health.   

For those seeking help or support, remember the resource: 

988 Lifeline Chat and Text: Reach out to Lifeline by calling or texting 988 to connect with crisis counselors, who provide emotional support and other services via web chat or texting.