So that’s it then, 7 days of pretty detailed and involving training are completed. All that remains is to carry out a couple of courses and then the stabilisers are off.
I’ve blogged after every module of the Mental Health First Aid instructors training. I’ve shared how friendly and supportive my fellow aspirant instructors are, I’ve talked about the deep levels of knowledge in the room that I’ve been able to draw on. Knowledge which has been freely given.
The course is packed full of information and it has been a challenge to assimilate it all to enable us to take our assessments. We’ve had our heads in textbooks, busily researching and learning. If you weren’t careful you could get carried away with all the resources.
Which is why I was grateful when one of our trainers said that to deliver this course you need to combine ability with compassion. I asked her to elaborate
“I have recently returned from delivering mental fitness training in Africa. I was working with the Ugandan People’s Defence Force on deployment in Somalia. They were approaching the course in a cerebral way. Worried about making a mistake – not least because they are soldiers and used to following orders exactly. I explained to them that to deliver this sort of training you need to engage your heart as much as your head. This sort of training doesn’t work if you don’t connect with compassion.”
Speaking as someone who lives and works with variable mental health I found this perspective empowering. I will have to refer to the textbook, check the slides, ask for help from colleagues – and that’s fine because I will also bring my heart and soul to the delivery. It’s also a good reminder for all the other training courses I deliver.
Our trainer then went on to talk about love in this context but that’s a whole other blog for a different day…………..