wba-foundation-training-6 At the start of the year, 10 participants from the West Bromwich Albion (WBA) Foundation completed the two day Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training.

Established in 1991, the WBA Foundation works in partnership with WBA Football Club (official charity partners of The Kaleidoscope Plus Group), using the medium of football and the kudos of the football club to provide sporting and educational opportunities to the most disadvantaged members of our local community.

The course was an overwhelming success with attendees rating our MHFA instructors “very good” or “good” (90% and 10% respectfully) and attendees rating the learning exercises “very good” or “good” (50% and 50% respectfully).

In addition, the WBA Foundation attendees were asked to score their knowledge and understanding of how best to support others with a mental health problem. Before completing the training, collectively they scored 29% but after completing the training, they scored 79% collectively, a 50% increase.

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The MHFA training course teaches participants, how to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues, provide help on a first aid basis and effectively signpost towards support services.

MHFA does not teach people to be therapists but teaches participants how to recognise the symptoms of mental health problems, how to provide initial help and how to guide a person towards appropriate professional help.

MHFA is an evidence based national training programme regulated by the National Mental Health Development Unit.

The training, which was held at the WBA’s training facilities, was run by The Kaleidoscope Plus Group’s qualified MHFA trainers, Rachael Thompson and Vicki Fox.

Rachael believes MHFA will only benefit the WBA Foundation.

She said: “I think MHFA will prove a useful tool for the foundation as it gives participants the ability to spot the early signs of mental ill health.

“Having spoken with all who completed the training I feel confident that they could help somebody experiencing mental health problems and guide them towards the right support they need to recover.”

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Fellow trainer Vicki Fox also echoed Rachael’s beliefs.

She added: “All the participants seem to have become real advocates of positive health and wellbeing but more importantly, seem capable to assess the risk of suicide or self-harm, listen non-judgementally, give reassurance and information, encourage people to get appropriate professional help and encourage self-help strategies.”

Feedback from people who completed the course has also been fantastic with recommendations for others to complete the Plus Programme.

Participants said:

“This course was very insightful and although the content can be heavy at times, the delivery made it a positive experience.”

“Will definitely be able to use what I have been taught both professionally and personally.”

“Found the content very useful and relevant.”

“Very informative and well delivered and structured over the two days.”

“Fantastic to see both instructors using their experiences with individuals when explaining more complex parts of the course.”

“A Good course which has allowed me to learn a lot over the past couple of days, highly recommended.”

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