The federation for World Mental health has set the theme for this year as ‘psychological first aid’. In addition to promoting mental health as part of a humanitarian response during international crises, the federation says ‘There are also people who sadly experience abuse and/or violence, all of which increase stress and the likelihood of developing mental health problems. We need to be conscious of the need to provide the right support when people experience the stress of traumatic events, both in the global context and on an individual level.
The principle of first aid is that all or any of us may need to step in to help when someone needs it, and to help them to see if they need professional help. All of us may need to build our confidence to do this with the people we are close to, our family, friends and colleagues.’
What you can do
Increase your knowledge: try www.minded.org.uk a website which gives free information, education and advice about common mental health problems affecting young people and what you can do if you are worried about someone.
Look at www.youngminds.org.uk for information about mental health policy and campaigns to improve mental health provision and reduce stigma as well as information and advice about common mental health problems affecting young people
Learn some psychological first aid skills to apply to yourself! You could start with: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/mindfulness.aspx
What are CAMHS doing?
CAMHS provide services to support children and young people who are experiencing trauma by providing Psychological Therapies and Crisis Intervention. The CAMHS crisis teams are currently developing an Emotional First Aid Group which will help Young people to cope with low mood and self-harming behaviour and teach people the skills to manage their thoughts and feelings in the future. This group will be up and running by the end of the year – keep an eye on this website for further details or speak to your CAMHS worker.