Richmond Foundation ‘satisfied’ with Education Minister’s statement on Mental Health First Aid
The Richmond Foundation said it is satisfied with Education Minister Evarist Bartolo’s statement, published in The Malta Independent on Wednesday, that Mental Health First Aid in schools is the next step forward in first aid measures.
The foundation, which is ‘the only licensed training body for Mental Health First Aid,’ said it “noted with satisfaction Minister Bartolo’s statement”, adding that “The Ministry of Education’s commitment towards this aspect of wellbeing is highly encouraging, when it is estimated that one out of every four persons experiences mental health problems at any point in time.”
“So far, first aiders have been associated with physical health. However, now it is considered wise to also prepare first aiders in (dealing with) mental health,” said the minister, noting that “issues of mental health in children have increased.” With first aiders who are trained in mental health, Mr Bartolo said that “if there are people who are feeling stressed or depressed, they can recognise the signs and try to help them”.
The Richmond Foundation explained that Mental Health First Aid is an internationally recognised course, with approximately 1,000 people being trained through the Foundation.
“Mental Health First Aid provides knowledge about the main mental health problems such as depression and anxiety and their symptoms. During the course, participants explore skills relevant to assisting people who are experiencing such difficulties. The course also explores mental health crises, such as panic attacks, aggression and self-harm, and guides the participants on how to support persons in difficulty, and lead them to seek professional help.”
The course is open to both professionals and the general public. More information about Mental Health First Aid is available at http://www.richmond.org.mt/mhf a/