Emotional First Aid is an innovative training course written by Stuart Gemmell, Dave Smith & Jacquie Kelly in 2008, built on a foundation of Systemic Thinking and Humanistic Principles. EFA seeks to dispel the myth that mental health means mental illness.
It is about encouraging the wider Children’s Workforce to get alongside a child or young person experiencing emotional distress, before any professional help is sought. We hope this will build capacity, capability and confidence in these Universal (Tier One) Services.
With 1/10 Children & Young People having a diagnosed mental illness which can follow them into adult life, and a further 1/10 Children and Young People having a mental health problem, there needs to be more of an emphasis on early intervention.
We aim to encourage staff to take a step towards Children & Young People experiencing emotional distress and form a working alliance to explore emotions and “get through it together.”
This enabling of emotional expression and development of helpful strategies are what we hope may reduce the likelihood of many Children & Young People developing a Mental Health Problem or a Mental Illness.
We are all on the mental health continuum and no-one is immune to all of the many contributing factors that can cause emotional stuckness, be that a client, colleague, friend or partner.
Everyone has emotions, and we believe that “Every Person Matters,” EFA is not just about the wellbeing of Children and Young People; it includes the wellbeing of those who work alongside them.
Primary efa courses and Young People efa courses run for 6 three and a half hour sessions over a 6 week period. Each candidate will receive an individual efa training pack (pizza box) containing a training manual, efa pen and support material such as the Discovery Guide to Anxiety, Emotional expression worksheets and crayons (primary efa) and the Me & U Booklet (young people efa).