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Cath Goodfellow, our Learning and Development Business Partner, gives us an update on her progress in Mental Health First Aid training. 

Last Friday, I got the email confirming that I have been signed off as an Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Instructor! It was a relief to know I had reached the standard and I’m excited for what this means for Concern Group.

My training started last year, when I attended the two-day workshop in October. I got a lot from the day and came away thinking that it was going to be an interesting challenge to be able to deliver this course.

Then, in November, I attended the first of three ‘train the trainer’ sessions, where our facilitators/mentors dissected the course and shared their experiences, top tips, and practical advice to ensure we created a safe environment while achieving the objectives of each session.

The following ‘train the trainer’ session allowed us to show off our facilitation skills and I learnt loads from the rest of the group, as we all had a different topic to deliver. We came from diverse backgrounds, so it wasn’t just the knowledge but the different approaches that I got some great ideas from. If you know me, you won’t be surprised I went for the ‘learning-through-laughing’ approach!

The third day of the second ‘train the trainer’ was one I will remember all my life. We had speakers who came along and shared their lived experiences of self-harming, childhood trauma, and anxiety. I left that day having learnt so much, as well as feeling humble and grateful for the life I have.

The final ‘train the trainer’ session was delivering content from the Adult MHFA programme and getting more feedback from the group and my mentor.

After that, we had one more step before being signed off and that was to deliver two workshops with another Adult MHFA trainer. I was really lucky that the amazing Emma Chambers from Together in a Crisis is on the same programme; we delivered two sessions in February this year. Emma is a brilliant facilitator and wonderful to work with!

All through the process, we are required to complete a portfolio reflecting on our progress and our next steps.

What have I learnt? That this is a great programme that can help people in all areas of their lives and potentially save lives, that I am lucky to have great family and friends, and that there is no health without mental health.

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