Inspiration We are all sick!

More than 40% of the Ger­man popu­la­ti­on expe­ri­ence a men­tal dis­or­der requi­ring tre­at­ment at least once in their lives.”

Let your eyes wan­der over your col­leagues in the next team mee­ting:
sta­tis­ti­cal­ly, almost half of them (inclu­ding you!) have or will expe­ri­ence a men­tal dis­or­der in their lives that has or will requi­re tre­at­ment.

We can­not and do not want to accept this. But what can we do?
Well, at SAPE­RED we’­ve taken action and we want to share our expe­ri­ence with you. I, Mara, want to start with this blog post.

Work-Life-Health-Balan­ce at the work­place

Most of us have taken a first-aid cour­se at least once in our lives. Even if this was usual­ly a while ago, we still recall the sta­ble late­ral posi­ti­on. We know what a pres­su­re ban­da­ge is, we have basic know­ledge of mouth-to-mouth resus­ci­ta­ti­on, and we all know the emer­gen­cy num­ber: 112.


But what do we do if our col­leagues have a panic attack? Or a fami­ly mem­ber shares sui­ci­dal thoughts? How do we reco­gni­se depres­si­on? We have all heard about bur­nout, but what is it and how can we help tho­se affec­ted?

The MHFA (pro­vi­der of first-aid cour­ses in the field of men­tal health dis­or­ders) has ans­wers to our ques­ti­ons:

It all starts by fee­ling over­whel­med. Topics that affect our men­tal health are stig­ma­tised and hard­ly dis­cus­sed open­ly. In a gene­ral first-aid cour­se, the topic of men­tal health is bare­ly men­tio­ned or not even addres­sed. It’s not on the cur­ri­cu­lum.

But how are we sup­po­sed to know then how to help? How can we detect the sym­ptoms? And how can we over­co­me this stu­pid stig­ma? A first-aid cour­se that only deals with the­se topics is defi­ni­te­ly a gre­at start!


First aid for men­tal health pro­blems

The Men­tal Health First Aid” pro­gram­me was foun­ded in 2000 in Aus­tra­lia and is now repre­sen­ted in over 26 nati­ons. Howe­ver, Ger­ma­ny has only been par­ti­ci­pa­ting sin­ce 2018. The MHFA (only avail­ab­le in Ger­man) is one of the few pro­gram­mes that is dedi­ca­ted to the topic of first aid for men­tal health dis­or­ders at all.


In a total of six modu­les las­ting two hours each, trai­ned psy­cho­lo­gists con­vey and dis­cuss the basic know­ledge of dif­fe­rent men­tal health dis­or­ders such as depres­si­on, sui­ci­de, psy­cho­sis or sub­s­tance abu­se. Each modu­le con­tains prac­ti­cal exer­ci­ses and role-play­ing games that con­so­li­da­te the reco­gni­ti­on and app­li­ca­ti­on of first-aid mea­su­res in emer­ging men­tal health pro­blems and acu­te men­tal cri­ses.

I recent­ly took this cour­se and great­ly incre­a­sed my know­ledge of men­tal health. I lear­ned to pay very dif­fe­rent atten­ti­on to mys­elf and others and to per­cei­ve and address warning signals. The prac­ti­cal app­li­ca­ti­ons in the cour­se have given me secu­ri­ty in my skills to help others and made it clear that it’s time to final­ly talk about our (men­tal) health. We can save lives by doing so.


Main Takea­ways

  • We recom­mend you all the first-aid cour­se (only avail­ab­le in Ger­man) of the MHFA
  • An open approach to men­tal health is the first step towards impro­ving the situa­ti­on
  • Take care of yourself and the peop­le around you <3
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