CIF Pilots Student Mental Health First-Aid Training
Construction Impact Framework (CIF) has been working with its partner Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) on the subject of student mental health. In order to support the university and its students who can be overwhelmed with the environment they find themselves in, we commissioned The Mind Map to pilot mental health first-aid training for students.
Below is feedback from Angelina Cliff, Student President at LJMU ,on how effective the course was and its wider impact…
What were you expecting to get out of the Mental Health First Aid course?
I was hoping to get some practical advice on what to do in situations with someone who’s suffered from mental illness.
What did you learn from the course?
I took away quite a lot and I realised quite a lot of things I’ve been doing wrong, but it was good to have been told that! The ALGEE acronym has been really, really helpful, but I think little stuff like touching someone, the way that I would think rubbing their back might give them comfort but also if they’re not expecting that it can make them feel worse. So, little things like that have helped me out quite a bit.
Is there anything in particular that you would do differently in those situations?
Yes, I think I would always make sure that they felt comfortable in the situation, that I wasn’t pressuring them to seek help, and that I was doing what they felt that they wanted to do and not me telling them what they have to do.
What do you think are the problems that students are facing currently and how can they affect their mental health?
Loads! I think financial stress is possibly the biggest one, that’s a massive one. For a lot of people that’s their first time moving away from home, so managing rent and food and all that sort of stuff that they haven’t had to do before. But also just the cost of university in general, I don’t think people understand quite how much it costs until they get here. You hear a lot about the money that you get from the government, and it sounds like a lot until you actually realise how much everything costs and I don’t think people are prepared for that and that could be quite stressful.
Would you recommend the course? If so, who would it be for?
Definitely. I’d recommend it to everyone. I think students can take it because they can help their friends but also lecturers can take it so they can help their students. But just anyone at all – you’re always going to be in contact with people who do have some sort of mental illness, whether you know it or not so it’s helpful for everyone to know this.
(Angelina Cliff, Student President at LJMU reflects on her mental health first-aid training course).
Liverpool John Moores University