News Release 3 July 2008 Country’s first Emotional First Aid Kit launched
Nationally it is estimated that about one in four young people will have a mental health, emotional or behavioral problem sometime in their life. This means that at any time in Southampton, 4,600 young people will be in need of mental health help. To ensure young people are helped before their mental state becomes overwhelming, a new innovative ‘first aid kit’ was launched on Tuesday 1 July 2008.
Education and health professionals and voluntary sector workers gathered together at Harbour Lights for the launch of the country’s first young person’s emotional first aid kit. The event saw the introduction of Southampton’s newest tool, designed for school teachers, health workers and others who work with young people.
Pioneering research in Australia has shown that many members of the public have a poor understanding of mental health problems. They cannot recognise specific disorders or different types of psychological distress and they differ from mental health experts in their beliefs of the causes of mental disorders and the most effective treatments. The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team at Southampton City Primary Care Trust have devised a first aid course; Emotional First Aid for young people.
The course has been informed by the booklet ‘Me & U – a real insight into the emotional experience of a young person today’. It aims to teach those who work with young people to recognise the signs of mental illness and to help them learn how to provide support, and encourage the person to seek help.
It is anticipated that in Southampton, 50 professionals from education, social care, youth services and health will become Emotional First Aid Trainers, training others working with children and young people, and significantly increasing mental health awareness and potential for early identification and intervention.
Stephanie Ramsey, Associate Director of Child and Family Services said: “I would like to thank all those who have played a hand in bringing this project to completion. And, especially to those young people who shared their experience of mental ill health and produced a useful booklet full of expert understanding and inspirational insight.”
Notes for Editors:
- Me & U (My Emotions Understood) was created by young people who have experience mental health illnesses and made positive steps towards a recovery. Coming together they have shared their ideas and produced a useful booklet filled with real emotion, expert understanding and inspirational insight. They do not suggest that the outcomes will happen in every situation, that a person should say this “…” when this happens and everything will be ok, but these stories hope to help a reader understand a little more and think about the impact of their actions.
For more information please contact Matthew Butler, Communications Officer, Southampton City Primary Care Trust on 023 8029 6930.
Telephone: 023 8029 6930
Fax: 023 8029 6960