StP and Mintridge train up Mental Health First Aiders
Posted on: 24 February 2021 by Luke Jennings
10 new mental health first aiders trained across the Switch the Play Foundation and the Mintridge Foundation.
Recently, 10 individuals completed their Mental Health First Aid qualification provided by Mental Health First Aid England and will now be supporting those in and out of sport with their mental health.
Funding from a joint bid to the National Lottery Community Fund by the two charities was used to train some of the StP team (Rob Young MBE, Leon Lloyd, Kieron Achara MBE, Mark Roberts and Luke Jennings) and 5 of the Mintridge team (Alex Wallace, Katie Smith, Maya Henshaw, Marilyn Okoro and Iona Lake) in Mental Health First Aid.
Thanks goes to Ian Braid and Julia Hardy for their excellent delivery of the qualification.
The 10 mental health first aiders will now use their knowledge and skills as part of the services they provide across the charities. From active listening skills to knowledge on anxiety, depression, eating disorders and more, they are now more aware of how to support people with their mental health.
Leon Lloyd and Mark Roberts have both had careers as sportspeople. They kindly provided some of their reflections on how this course has helped them below:
Leon: "As someone who has invested heavily in developing my own levels of self awareness over recent years, this Mental Health First Aid course reminded me of that old adage, you don’t know what you don’t know. Well it transpires that whilst I knew some I didn’t know as much as I thought or indeed that I’d like to in order to be able to recognise and assist others who are in need of mental health support. One of the things I’ve taken away is that we all have mental health, and there is a scale ranging from poor up to positive. Very rarely do we stay in one place on that scale and so it’s important for all of us to recognise that in this ever changing landscape of uncertainty and change that we have to be kind to ourselves first, in order to be strong enough to be kind and supportive to others when they need our support."
I never quite understood why cabin crew would always instruct us to put our own oxygen masks on first before attempting to help others, including children. Well during this programme it all made sense and I am better prepared to identify signs within myself and also in others."
Mark: "It’s been a real privilege to share the rewarding journey towards becoming a Mental First Aider with such an inspirational group of people. Listening to the lived experienced of the other people on the course really helped me to understand the material on a much deeper level.
Since making my own transition out of professional football I’ve discovered that making the most of opportunities like this enables me to feel a sense of connection with new or different teammates.
I’m now in the fortunate position to work alongside individuals and teams across the sports industry so I’ll be looking to build on the skills I’ve developed through this training. I will apply what I have learned and am confident it will enhance the support I am able to offer individuals and teams at different phases of their career and stages of their development.
We are now looking at how we can support others with their mental health. If you are a sportsperson (who work with sportspeople) and would like to access mental health support, click here.
If you would like to know more about how we can help you access mental health training, then please email our Operations Manager.