Lucy Chesters, editor

Lucy Chesters is the editor of Ethos Magazine, she completed our One Day Adult Mental Health First Aid training course, accredited by Mental Health First Aid England. Lucy said: “I think the course would especially benefit those higher up in organisations. I learned a lot about the different triggers and symptoms of mental ill health, […]

Lucy Chesters, editor

Lucy Chesters is the editor of Ethos Magazine, she completed our One Day Adult Mental Health First Aid training course, accredited by Mental Health First Aid England. Lucy said: “I think the course would especially benefit those higher up in organisations. I learned a lot about the different triggers and symptoms of mental ill health, plus new ways of listening. It is very helpful and makes you think differently about future conversations you may have with people.”

What made you want to attend the Mental Health First Aid course?

I just think that it’s a really great idea. I think it’s kind of bizarre that mental health first aid and physical health first aid aren’t currently being treated the same. Especially in work places, because I swear that the majority of work places is where illness and lots of stuff happens.

I also write quite a bit and I enjoy writing about mental health initiatives. I spoke to the CEO and founder of Mental Health First Aid England and it just sounded great so I just thought you know what, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and learn these important skills. And actually, a lot of people around me have mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, bi-polar, eating disorders. So you know, it’s not gonna do any harm is it? It can only be positive.

What did you learn from the course?

I think it just reaffirmed a lot of things I would kind of assume but it actually goes more in depth into things like suicide, for example. I find there’s obviously a stigma attached to all mental health but especially suicide. It’s just one of these things that people sort of don’t want to talk about or feel like they can’t talk about. I actually think that discussing it openly in a group of people who are all kind of here for the same purpose actually just makes you think that at the end of the day, it’s one of the things that if you don’t discuss it it could be a lot worse. You can’t say you enjoyed it but I feel benefit from it.  

What about the practical advice? Was that useful?

I think it is so difficult, especially when you’re close to somebody you can see is maybe suffering in silence, or you can see is maybe suffering from like an eating disorder or whatever. It’s not like you can just outright ask them but also you can’t pressure them into telling you, asking for help, or seeking help. So I feel like the different ways of listening and recognising different triggers or different symptoms is very helpful and it actually makes you think differently about future conversations that you might have with people and knowing that obviously if someone say has recovered, it’s not like you’re in recovery. It never goes away.

Would you recommend the course? If so, who would it be for?

Yes, definitely. I think it’s really important for people in work places, especially perhaps those higher up in work places because they’re the ones that primarily set the example to the rest of the work force. But also if they turn around and say, “I’m John, I’m the manager and I’ve suffered from depression for X number of years” then it means people who are scared to talk about mental health problems at work due to stigma don’t feel judged. The more people talk about it the better.

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