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Well-known member
Jul 19, 2010
middle earth
Please note - I have checked this out with the other mods /admin and they say its ok to post this :)

I was wondering if you guys could offer me some suggestions / thoughts on something:

I've 'volunteered' to do some mental health training for a group of British Red Cross first aiders in about a month's time. They know loads about physical stuff, but don't get much mental health training at all. Talking to the guy leading the sessions, he said some of them think that depression is just feeling sad, for example. Some volunteers have much better awareness, but some really don't have much idea.

My session is going to be an overview of MH conditions, including (but not only)
Eating disorders
Self harm

And then a sort of quick guide to services available.

I could get all DSM / NHS and list symptoms, but I don't really want to stick rigidly to the 'medical bible' so I was wondering if you guys could also add in some symptoms that maybe you've had, but aren't necessarily on the 'clinical diagnosis' list, or things that you think it's important to mention.

The following session, which I'm not doing - but would appreciate some comments on so I can pass them on to the relevent person - is going to be about how to deal with MH conditions in a first aid situation - so if someone is suicidal, or self harmed, or maybe they present with a sprained ankle, but on talking to them it becomes apparent something else is going on....... what sort of things would help in that situation - helpful things to say.... not helpful things to say.... that kind of thing.

I know bits about depression / anxiety as it's what I live with, but I don't know much about other MH conditions really, so any thoughts / suggestions gratefully received. :)

Thanks folks.
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You can include how to deal with trauma in mental health patients, and really difficult re-emerging traumas that create shock, horror and disorientation, trauma patients need to be brought through the memory and encourage to remember the event as it happened and have them acknowledge they survived it and are still here today, and if the current situation they are in is similar to the original event then they may be screaming in pain , shock and panic and be disorientated and unable to function in daily life,and need to be held and reassured it is different this time and they are safe.If someone does this for them lovingly then they are able to be calm and have resolved the traum and not have it come back again.I hope that helps.NicolaX


Staff Member on Leave
Jan 25, 2012
Panic attacks is one area that springs to mind. Hope it goes well.


Well-known member
May 30, 2012
small town Ontario, Canada
Agree with panick attacks being included as they are involved in combination with so many forms of mental health conditions. Calming panic, can calm mania and paranioa. A panick is born as mainly ecsalated anxiety and fears (for varying reasons) that triggers panick disorder and other more serious symptoms. This is in my opinion and being so farmiliar with so many people with varying mental health conditions and as a caregiver and friend, to those people. Hope this helps.
Reinforcing that "safe" environment as Nicola said. Is absolutely most vital.