Why I Love Being an MHFA trainer

MHFA arm technique

Lynne is a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Trainer for Twining. She shares her personal story of why she got involved and what drives her to keep delivering MHFA. 

The first time I started flapping my arm up and down in slow motion I felt a bit silly… but I knew it was a simple technique that could really help someone with a mental health problem. This technique is just one, among many, I use when delivering Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training.

As a trainer I’ve had the pleasure of equipping people with the knowledge and skills they need to support their friends, family and colleagues.

I tell them how to spot the signs and symptoms of common mental health problems, what to do if they’re worried about someone and where to go for more help. Talking about mental health also breaks down a lot of stigma.

I’ve worked with Twining for the past three years delivering MHFA to businesses, individuals and their own staff. I’ve really enjoyed it as Twining bring something new to the table, being an organisation that know a lot about mental health from a work perspective. People on courses come from all walks of life and have unique experiences of mental health but the course is flexible enough to tailor content and make it even more relevant.

So why MHFA? Well, I became interested when I was Training Manager for a mental health project in Brighton. The people I worked with told me they often experienced stigma and discrimination about their mental health issues and many people just didn’t know how to talk about mental health; this made them feel isolated, often worsening the problem. 

When I heard about MHFA I loved the course as it gives people good knowledge and information but importantly people learn practical ways to help others.

I met Andy Webb from Twining during my instructor training in 2011 and we decided to work together.

My highlight has been being involved in training all staff in the London Borough of Ealing’s Arts, Heritage and Libraries service. We delivered ten courses to over a 100 members of staff and people became more and more enthusiastic as the courses went on. It was a great opportunity to train a whole staff team; because of the training people now feel more confident about facing some of the challenges of their role and feel more able to support each other.

I find delivering MHFA often fun, sometimes emotional and always worthwhile. I’m looking forward to delivering MHFA training well into the future with Twining. As for the flapping arm, you’ll have to join a course to find out what that is all about!

For more information or to book a course visit our training pages.

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