Hello everyone! Hope you’re having a wonderful day! Today is yet another one related to mental health. This time round, there won’t be any words, just photos, as sometimes one picture says a lot more than me. This post is aimed to raise awareness for mental health. In Malta, the Richmond Foundation works towards ending the stigma surrounding mental health while also helps those suffering to recover. Their contact information is found at the end of the post.
As I always say, if you or any one you know if showing symptoms of mental health problems or is talking suggestively about it, then please seek help from professionals, be it your family doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist. But most of all, stay strong.
THIS IS A SERIES ON MY BLOG WHICH CONSISTS OF ME LOOKING BACK AT ARTISTS I LOVE AND/OR HAVE INFLUENCED ME THAT ARE UNFORTUNATELY NO LONGER ALIVE. THEY MAY NOT HAVE NECESSARILY DIED DUE TO THEIR MENTAL HEALTH ILLNESS/ES, BUT DURING THEIR LIVES THEY SUFFERED FROM ONE OR MORE.
Well…! I’ve finally done it! The first of many steps towards breaking the stigma surrounding mental health problems in Malta:
I am a Mental Health First Aider!
Confetti it’s a parade!
Celebrations aside, this has been something I’ve wanted to do since forever. And it’s finally done. 2 Saturdays. 6 hours each. Lots of laughs and new friends. Breaking the stigma, one person at a time.
Why should one take a mental health first aid course?
Over the past two sessions, I learned a lot of things about mental health, and took note of them. Having been through mental health problems gave me a good background of certain things, but some things were new to me, including ALGEE:
Algee, the mascot of MHFA, is this cutie pie:
Despite having the MHFA manual, which was given to us free of charge, I still took notes of my own, and they will be listed down below…
Mental health problem – not diagnosed but displays symptoms
Mental health illness – diagnosed
NEVER leave a person alone if they need help!
Say you went through a “similar situation” NOT “same thing”
Attack the behaviour not the person
Make sure of the following:
You care and want to help
Help is available
Thoughts are very common
Encourage the person to do most of the talking
NEVER KEEP SUICIDE A SECRET
There are ways to address specific problems
Involve the person in who to be told about the problem
When person is in crisis – first aid
When person not in crisis – ALGEE
Panic attacks are
frightening but not dangerous
not all triggered
When in doubt, assume person is experiencing a panic attack, NOT a heart attack
When person says they’re having a panic attack and recovers – no intervention
Slow breathing helps BUT focusing on breathing can become an emotional crutch leading to difficulty with eventual treatment
Panic attack – not more than 10 minutes
Types of traumas:
– (I didn’t get the last one unfortunately)
Dissociative Identity Disorder = Multiple Personality Disorder but NOT = schizophrenia!
Psychosis = loss of contact from reality
Neither confirm nor deny someone with psychosis!
Schizophrenia should be diagnosed early – teens to early 20s
What is affected by substance use disorders? The 4 Ls
Three types of substances:
* Points taken during a video about MFHA: Psychosis taken from the MHFA Australia DVD
So these were all the points I jotted down throughout the 12-hour course, including some pictures used during the presentations. As a disclaimer, I would like to point out that despite this certification, I CANNOT diagnose ANYONE, but simply ASSIST the person in case of mental health problems. For a diagnosis, please seek professional help (GPs, psychologist, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, etc.)