Mental health first aid is a simple 5-step support system

Do you sometimes notice someone, who seems to be troubled with their mental health, but you don’t really know how to start a conversation with them or how to support them? Giving mental health first aid is a learnable skill that can be given by anyone!

STEP 1

Approach the individual and assess the situation

STEP 2

Listen to their concerns supportively and without judgement

STEP 3

Assure them, offer support and information

STEP 4

Encourage them to seek appropriate professional help

STEP 5

Encourage them to follow self-help tips and other supportive strategies

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Progress towards our goal

Our goal is to train at least 1% of the Estonian population

Our dream is that every Estonian could feel that their mental health issues are being recognised and supported. To achieve this dream, we wish to train at least 1% of the Estonian population (13 000 people) to be capable of giving mental health first aid by 2022. We need your help to achieve that goal! Do you want to team up with us and help us achieve that goal?

Mental health first aid is a simple 5-step support system

STEP 1: Approach the individual and assess the situation

Your first task is to approach the individual and try to understand if they are in the middle of a crisis. 
  • Find a fitting time and place where you both feel safe.
  • If they don’t start a conversation with you or tell you how they feel then start one yourself.
  • Approach them and tell them that you are worried about them.
  • Respect their privacy and confidentiality.
The one giving mental health first aid should have the knowledge of determining a possible situation of crisis:
  • Could they hurt themselves?
  • Is their behaviour disturbing others (are they aggressive or have they lost touch with reality)?
If the situation is critical then you should seek help immediately and, if necessary, call the emergency number 112. If it is not critical then you can move on to the next steps.

STEP 2: Listen to their concerns supportively and without judgement

When giving mental health first aid, it is important to listen to the person without prejudices and without judging them.

When you are listening to them, you should set your judgements regarding their person or their situation aside. Most people in stress just wish that someone would unjudgementally listen to their story before they are offered help or solutions. To do that effectively, you should implement specific attitudes and listening skills that:

  • would allow you to really listen and understand what you are being told and that would make the other person feel like they can talk to you about their problems freely and without being judged.

Mental health first aid courses are funded by