Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid (1) is campaigning with Croydon Council and community groups to get 1,000 local residents trained in ‘mental health first aid’ as part of World Mental Health Day this Saturday 10th October.
The four-day online course is funded entirely by the Council and TfL and is open to all Croydon residents. It’s targeting people who already provide informal support or a shoulder to cry on for local residents, whether you’re a sports coach, a trusted auntie or just a neighbour who cares.
The campaign comes after mental health charity Mind revealed the scale of the impact of Coronavirus on mental health. More than one in five adults with no previous experience of mental health problems, some 22% of the population, said their mental health is poor or very poor in a survey of 16,000 people this summer.
Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid is proudly helping to support this initiative in partnership with Councillor Janet Campbell, cabinet member for Families and Social Care for Croydon as well as other community groups across the borough. Over 40 mental health organisations have been invited to be a part of the campaign and many organisations - including churches, mosques, colleges, businesses, schools and charities – have already signed up to take part in the training.
So far, over 300 applications have been received for the training run by MHFA England and over 100 have already completed the course.
Janet Campbell, Cabinet member for Families and Social Care in Croydon said:
“The pandemic has caused incredible loss, stress and uncertainty. However, in the face of huge challenges Croydon’s community has united to support each other and we are encouraging Croydon residents to keep volunteering and take this funded course in order to help others in our community. I am delighted we have been able to fund a thousand places for our mental health first aiders and really value our partnership with Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid.”
Rowena Davis, organiser for Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid said:
“Whilst the physical suffering from Coronavirus is well known, we are all still getting to grips with the mental impact. Many families have suffered directly or even lost loved ones and all of us still feel the pressures of lockdown. This is now being combined with financial insecurity as jobs disappear, wages are cut and the government’s furlough scheme comes to an end.
Whilst volunteers can never replace frontline professionals, residents are often the first ones to recognise when someone they know or love is suffering. This training should help people recognise the signs of developing mental health problems and provide guidance for early intervention.”
Audrey, a local resident who completed the training said:
“I took the Mental Health First Aider course with St John Ambulance in Croydon. Thanks to this training, I feel better equipped to discuss and give adequate support to a person who might be affected by a mental illness. I recommend the course and encourage you to get in touch with the Council which offers training for free for Croydon residents.”