About Us Mental Health First Aiders at Viewpoint Mental Health First Aid Sharpening our skills in mental health awareness It’s extremely important to us here at Viewpoint that we’re up to date and fully equipped to assist our members with any issues that they may come to us with. While our fantastic facilitators here at Viewpoint all possess some level of lived experience, we’re still putting in the effort to see things from both sides and recognise the signs that not everybody will see. In focusing our efforts on receiving valuable mental health first aid training, our members can rest assured that when they attend a group or workshop with us, they are in fully capable hands. As part of our ever-evolving training, we're proud to have had a number of our facilitators undertake a Mental Health First Aid qualification, provided by MHFA England. Here’s a little about two of our facilitators experiences, in their own words: Jason Langley It’s been great to get the Mental Health First Aid courses going for Viewpoint. It’s been a project we’ve been working on for a long time now, but have faced delays for a number of different reasons. So for us now to be in a position to be able to deliver the training is really positive, both for ourselves and for Viewpoint, and we have just recently finished delivering our third course. For me the course is not just about the first aid skills themselves; we also use the training to raise awareness of mental health challenges, the impact of poor mental health on society, and of the resources and services that can assist people living with mental health challenges and those supporting them. As a prerequisite of my instructor training, I had to attend the course as a learner, and indeed, my knowledge and understanding benefited greatly. Being an instructor has given me an excellent opportunity to develop my skills and to learn more about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into setting up courses and training workshops. Being part of a team has also been extremely beneficial, and we’ve been able to learn from and support each other, which will only continue as our team and the project continues to grow. Katherine Clark Back in the days before lockdowns and COVID, I began a journey with Viewpoint to become one of the charity’s Mental Health First Aiders. After an application and interview process with Viewpoint, I completed the 2-day Mental Health First Aid course at Oaklands College. It was tough going as it was two full days with some challenging content, specifically around suicide and depression. I found the course interesting and really connected with the mission of MHFA, creating a world where people can talk openly about their mental health and access support without stigma. I’ve now completed the full instructor training, co-delivered three online courses for Viewpoint with my colleague, Jason, and we got fully signed off as a mental health first aid instructors in November 2021. I have a lived experience of mental ill health going back to my first episode when I was 8 years old. I’ve trained and worked within mental health organisations and feel especially passionate about how Viewpoint works as I feel they recognise and embrace all my experience. My training and work experience is valued and so too is my lived experience and the challenges I’ve faced and overcome along the way. In the past I felt a little like I was dividing myself up into portions depending on whether I was working as a professional or doing involvement work based on my lived experience. It always felt like I was leaving part of myself at the door, but I feel Viewpoint see the whole me and that’s meant more than I can possibly put into words.