As a result of the COVID pandemic and lockdown, the needs for mental health support have risen, with one in 5 people likely to be experiencing some form of depression. To support the community’s response to this, we are now providing free mental health training to the public and local agencies. This training will give those taking part a better understanding of mental health, the factors that can affect wellbeing, and provide the skills to better support anyone in need – friends, family and employees.
The training has become available following the launch of our new befriending service, Talking Together, which offers listening support to those feeling isolated and struggling with their mental health. Volunteers of the service are offered the opportunity to gain a mental health qualification, allowing them to not only support ‘Befriendees’ of the service, but anyone needing a bit of support with their mental health at this difficult time.
Local sight loss charity, Southend In Sight, were the first organisation to take part in the training. Jan Pitch, one of the volunteers who took part in the training two weeks ago, said: “Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation over the phone where someone is really down, and it’s knowing how to actually help bring them out of that.”
“It helped me myself, and then hopefully I can help my own family and whoever I speak to from here at Southend in Sight.”
Another volunteer and membership assistant, Anne Morris said: “Obviously at the moment we have to do a lot of talking support calls, and it gave me the reassurance of how to deal with difficult situations. It made me realise we were dealing with things in the right way, giving me a bit of reassurance. It also made me think about things and realise you’ve got to listen. You’re not there to solve the problems, you’re there to listen to the problems, because some people really just want to offload rather than anything else.”
Southend In Sight Chief Executive, Lucy Martin: “We’re really grateful for the support and much needed training at this time, which has helped our staff and volunteers support people that need us.”
The training takes 3 hours to complete and is currently held online via Zoom to ensure safe distancing.
Matt King, Chief Executive of Trust Links, said “We are delighted to be in a position to offer this free mental health training to local groups, businesses and residents at a time when people need mental health knowledge and support more than ever. Rates of depression have doubled in the UK through the Coronavirus pandemic. The more people that can be equipped to help others struggling with their mental health, to say the right thing and point people in the direction of services that can help, the better. I would encourage the public to get in touch to discuss how the training can help.”
Mental Health Awareness Training
The three hour course provides an introduction to the concepts of mental health, wellbeing and recovery. The course is available to professionals, businesses and members of the community in the Southend, Castle Point and Rochford areas.