Men Talk Health – Mental Health First Aid Course
Men Talk Health offer Mental Health First Aid courses to charities and communities in Norwich. During lockdown there has been an increase in poor mental health. Since restrictions have been lifted and society has gradually opened up again, it is often the charity and community workers who have been the first point of contact for people needing support around their mental health. Men Talk Health offered the nationally recognised MHFA training for free or at a heavily reduced cost thanks to funding from Norwich Consolidated Charities. Men Talk Health approached Opportunities4Communities to advertise the courses, where two complex needs schools signed up. The course gave them a better understanding of mental health issues and the knowledge to signpost to resources as needed. One participant said:
“I thought this course was superb! It was hugely valuable to meet other colleagues and discuss situations with them. I think the course materials are fantastic and I shall be using these my entire career I am sure. I am also going to show my team members the manual as they will also find it useful. Thank you so much for such a valuable 2 days, which I will highly recommend is completed by colleagues.”
One group was so impressed with Men Talk Health’s training, they are in talks to secure further training for more of their staff. The courses will be offered again at the end of this year, where more groups are set to benefit from this vital training.
Since launching in March 2021, Opportunities4Communities has connected dozens of offers of help from businesses, service providers, organisations and individuals with charities who desperately need help.
Opportunities4Communities is a members-only Facebook group where businesses and charities come together to support the most vulnerable and needy in their communities. Rather than focusing on funding and finances, the page puts collaboration and in-kind assistance at the forefront of community action. Businesses are invited to offer their services – whether this be excess product, training or resources – free-of-charge to charities in Norfolk. Likewise, if charities have need of something – such as graphic design work, a new premises or even a new trustee – they can ask for it via the page. This approach seeks to pair charities with relevant individuals and business partners to achieve their aims, rather than relying solely on financial resources.
During the lockdowns, the page had offers of PPE and mental wellbeing magazines, along with mental health first aid courses and laptop computers. With things opening up more recently, offers such as a pool table, office furniture and health and safety training have been trickling in. Charities have been keen to take advantage of these generous offers, stocking up on essential items such as masks and computers, as well as guidance and advice.