Rich­mond Foun­da­tion ‘sat­is­fied’ with Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter’s state­ment on Men­tal Health First Aid

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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/

Evarist Bar­tolo

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