Playful People Making Change

SUSSEX & London

First Aid for Mental Health

Soundcastle now offers certified training in First Aid for Mental Health. Why do we think this is important? Because we believe that every setting is a mental health setting. Some contexts might be more obvious than others. But anyone can be affected by a mental health condition. Recognising the warning signs can help to support ourselves, family members, friends and colleagues. 

By training in First Aid for Mental Health, individuals and organisations demonstrate a commitment to combating stigma and talking openly about mental health and wellbeing. We also develop the skills to start a supportive conversation and where necessary, signpost a friend or colleague in need towards professional help.

So why is this relevant to community arts? As facilitators, we regularly work with individuals who may be facing big life challenges. This might look like a myriad of caring responsibilities, being incarcerated, coping with a mental health condition, overcoming bereavement and the list goes on. Community arts facilitators practice high levels of empathy on a regular basis to offer support, encouragement and kindness. Regularly supporting members of our communities who are facing tough times can be incredibly rewarding – it’s why so many of us love what we do. But sometimes, facilitators can take too much on and professional boundaries can become blurred – this can lead to professional burn out.

At Soundcastle, we make sure our whole team is trained up in First Aid for Mental Health, not only so that they understand how to support others in a crisis, but also so that they can support their own working resilience. The training clearly outlines the need for professional boundaries and the limits of support that can be offered by community arts facilitators. It also helps us to understand how to keep ourselves and others safe by referring people to professional help, just as we would with physical first aid. The aim is to support ourselves as well as others whilst maintaining an empathetic and kind approach to facilitation.

Having seen the transformational impact on our own team, we have been inspired to offer First Aid for Mental Health training to other organisations. We have partnered up with NUCO training to offer Ofqual regulated Level 1 and 2 Awards with a particular focus on working in the arts. Our vision is to build professional resilience and knowledge of mental health in the arts sector, empowering others to break down stigma, open conversation and access support.

Join the conversation – come and chat to us to find out more!

Upcoming Training Dates:

5th October (Soundcastle HQ, Rock House, Cambridge Road, Hastings, TN34 1DT) – 9.30am – 5pm

12th and 13th October (distance learning – 7 hours) – 9.30am – 1pm

Please note that you will also need to book in a short one-to-one assessment slot with your trainer

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