Written by: Mandy Mackereth, Health Manager at RMC
Starting in late 2022, RMC began delivering Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) workshops with the aim of delivering to 100 people. Prior to this, 15 RMC staff members were trained, 2 of which then went on to become accredited MHFA England Instructor Members, as part of the Royal Society of Public Health accredited programme. Over the next 6 months, they delivered 12 training sessions to the community and created a network of Mental Health First Aiders.
Background – Why the support is needed
The Mental Health Foundation reports that members of the BAME community can often experience different rates of ill mental health, including that “Black people are four times more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act than White people“.
They also cover that “asylum seekers and refugees are more likely to experience poor mental health than the local population“ as well as concerning statistics around men’s mental health. With men three times more likely to commit suicide to women and only 36% of referrals to talking therapies being for men.
As RMC works with communities containing large populations of these groups, it was clear that not only were we well placed to reach these groups, but also that the support was vitally needed.
Our report outlines the project and those supported, which included a large proportion of those identifying as black ethnicity. The target groups were expanded during the delivery to include newly arriving Ukrainian’s and the hosts supporting them as this was outlined as need following the invasion of Ukraine.
In very similar numbers to those found by the Mental Health Foundation, our recruitment found only 31% of participants were men, even with a stronger push to try and include more men into the training.
It also outlines the impact and ongoing benefits of the project.
‘I just want to say THANK YOU to Mandy and Tanya for arranging and delivering this amazing training, which I personally found very useful, interesting, exciting and entertaining. Excellent tutors and great presentation! Fantastic job! I loved it and I’m already using gained knowledge in everyday life! Thanks a lot!’MHFA workshop participant