Almost 20,000 get mental health training

Brendan Bonner, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement (Western Area).
Brendan Bonner, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement (Western Area).

Almost 20,000 people in the west have taken up mental health training in the past five years it has emerged, with demand continuing to grow.

The Public Health Agency in partnership with the Western Health and Social Care Trust is now encouraging people to take up opportunities for training in emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention.

Brendan Bonner, PHA Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement in the Western area, said around 20,000 people have received training such as building emotional resilience to direct suicide intervention.

“Almost 6,000 people have completed mental health and suicide awareness training through the Western Trust to statutory, community and voluntary agencies. This includes 840 who have completed the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.

“A lot of the community-based training has been undertaken directly with the community and voluntary sector and other partnerships have included the Western Trust, schools, workplaces and sporting organisations.

“A further 14,000 people have participated in a variety of programmes such as Mental Health First Aid, Impact of Alcohol on Self-Harm and Crisis Intervention training.

“We are encouraged that demand for the participation on the courses remains high and many of the courses are already fully booked. We would however encourage more people to consider registering for programmes such as Mental Health First Aid, Safe Talk, Motivational Intervention and the Impact of Alcohol on Self-Harm.”