Why do I need Mental Health First Aid Training?

Published: February 16, 2022

Stressors & Risk Factors of Mental Illnesses

The MHA Organization talks about how there is no exact cause of mental illnesses. There are, however, risk factors and stressors that can increase the risk of developing a mental disorder.

Why do I need Mental Health First Aid

Stressors are situations or events that a person perceives as a threat to their well being or position in life. Stressors are normally an outside force that triggers chemical, physical, or mental responses.

Risk Factors are any attribute or characteristic that increases a person’s likelihood of developing an illness or disease, or injury. These are normally elements of a person’s background that may contribute to the development of a mental illness.

Signs & Symptoms

Mental disorders can be split-up into three different categories. Anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and psychological disorders.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in US. About 40 million adults are affected by them every year. People with anxiety disorders physically react to stressors that include fear or dread. Other symptoms of anxiety disorders include:

  • Response is not appropriate for situation
  • Cannot control response
  • Interferes with normal day-to-day life

Mood disorders, unlike anxiety disorders, are persistent and constant in the lives of people who struggle with them. These types of mental illnesses are emotionally crippling and can make normal life extremely difficult. The most common mood disorders are depression and bipolar disorder. According to NHS, a few more symptoms of mood disorders would be:

  • Hopeless, negative outlook on life, irritable
  • Loss of interest in things that are normally interesting
  • Increase in fatigue and problems sleeping
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Uncontrollable emotions
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things

Phycological disorders make it hard to have appropriate emotional responses and communicate effectively. Eating disorders and addiction disorders are they most common types of phycological disorders. Having a difficult time thinking clearly, making good decisions, and behaving appropriately are symptoms of phycological disorders.

How to Help

Being aware of the signs of mental disorders, by doing this you can put yourself in a position to dispel the guilt, shame, and embarrassment that too many of those with mental illness feel

Be encouraging and supportive when it comes to their challenges that comes with mental illness. See the whole person, offer your support, mind what you say, stand up against misconceptions and stigmas about mental illnesses.

Asking questions about what they’re going through gives you an opportunity to both support them and learn more about how they are feeling. Ask questions like:

  • What can I help you with?
  • Can we talk about what your experiencing?
  • What do you want me to know about what you are feeling?

Listening can also be very helpful to your struggling friend or family. It is of vital importance for them to feel heard and understood. When they are talking to you, remember to never

  • Debate or argue with them
  • Tell them they are wrong for how they feel
  • Offer advice
  • Assign blame

It can be hard talking to someone who is going through a mental health crisis. However, sometimes all a person needs in that situation is one person being there, helping them get the help they need. You can be that person.

For more information and detail on this topic you can visit our Hard Hat Training course, Mental Health First Aid Training. Stay safe out there!