Learning together….virtually!

It’s strange how Coronavirus has managed to change my mind completely on virtual training. I know some remote locations globally have used virtual methods to deliver skills, training and education in all areas for many years.

Up until March this year when the Coronavirus curve ball hit us all, I didn’t feel I personally could deliver valuable training online. How wrong was I?

Having done nothing but virtual training over the last six months I see how much more inclusive and nurturing it is. It gives a much wider reach enabling people based throughout the UK and beyond to join from the comfort of their home sharing their knowledge and experiences.

I know see 90% of my business going forward will be on a virtual platform rather than classroom environment. So many more advantages to the virtual stage. All being there is good internet access of course!

At the start of the pandemic I made the decision to find an exact product to replace MHFAEngland’s three courses I’m licensed to deliver. Their half day awareness course, one day champion course and two day adult First Aider course. None of which are accredited.

I discovered http://www.nucotraining.com which recently added three accredited courses which match what I was looking for. Nuco has a solid reputation in the first aid, H&S and associated environments.

However, there was a few steps first! I had to apply and be screened against Nuco’s criteria. I also had to do a L3 formal Education and Training course with CTC before I could be accepted for Instructor training. I was a little deflated as I’m pretty impatient when it comes to me getting things done! CTC’s website showed the L3 qualification took unto a year. I really didn’t want to wait that long!!!

Thankfully with the curve ball of Coronavirus and home working, I managed to complete the L3 in under three months! Once I had this qualification I was able to get accepted by Nuco on their last virtual training session for Mental Health First Aid planned for 2020.

Everything fell into place beautifully!

Level 1 is a four hour workshop to raise awareness which a written paper at the end to prove knowledge and attain the Level 3 qualification.

Level 2 is six hours with a written paper and practical session to gain the

Level 3 qualifies someone to be the First Aider and is 12 hours long with 2 papers to complete and a practical session.

The beauty of virtual training is illustrated by people on the Instructor’s course with me. Based throughout the UK as well as Guernsey and in Afghanistan!

Martin, the Nuco Instructor, shared techniques and resources. Engaging, challenging and robust.

An exhausting but strangely energising experience.

Now I have a 5 accredited courses on mental health and wellbeing to add to my portfolio of workshops available for clients wishing to ensure the wellbeing of their staff.

Opportunity presents itself in the most unexpected ways.

Find it tough to start a conversation about your feelings?

We are becoming more aware about mental ill health in the workplace, education and our families/communities.  We know starting a conversation can save a life.

 

But what about when it’s us who needs the help?  Often those who are supportive to others find it difficult to reach out.

 

Earlier this year I trained to be a crisis volunteer with Give Us A Shout – a text crisis line launched in the UK by HRH Prince William earlier this year.  It was devised in USA  by Nancy Lubin about six years ago and has proven evidence it saves lives.  Crisis Text Line is now global.

 

For those embarrassed, isolated or just overthinking they are not worthy of help and can’t speak to anyone, this text line is a life saving solution.  The Crisis Volunteers are trained to deal with every situation including worries about debt, relationships, bereavement, work, self harm, suicidal thoughts and much more.

 

All anyone has to do to get help from this 24/7 service is to text Shout to 85258.  Pass this on to anyone you know who is suffering right now.

 

We’ve just had the global world suicide prevention day.  But let’s not forget about the importance of noticing a change in someone and starting a conversation.  People are suffering every day.  Over 6,500 suicides were recorded in the UK in 2018 – over 200 young people.

 

In the UK employers have a legal duty of care under Health & Safety Regulations.  They also have a duty of care for mental health and wellbeing of their staff under the Equalities Act 2010.

 

Time to talk.  Time to reach out if you are suffering too.

 

The earliest intervention starts with a conversation.

 

 

 

Mental Health First Aid – Lite

Just been retained to deliver three workshops for 60 people in total for a global organisation with HQ in London.

 

With diverse backgrounds in the room, these should be an effective training sessions!

 

Lite is an introduction to the full Adult First Aid course.  It covers:

 

  1. Languages & Mental Health Issues
  2. What is Mental Health
  3. Mental Health Problems
  4. Supporting people in distress
  5. Managing our own well-being

 

Covering 3 hours, the course is designed to be a taster in understanding this complex subject.

The Power of Skype

I’ve always been impressed on Skype’s ability to keep family and friends in touch.  To be able to see someone when talking with them is so much more valuable than a faceless e-mail or telephone call.  It almost feels you are in the room with them.

Equally, I’ve found it frustrating at times Skyping Dubai to keep in touch with family.  The quality of the connection has always been a bit shakey – dipping in and out of clarity.

However, after an excellent session with Betsy Schwartz and her team from The National Council for Behavioral Health in Washington DC last night, I now know it’s not the distance in Skype that matters so much as the local internet connection!

The meeting with Betsy to discuss rollout of mental health training in the business world was excellent.  We exchanged knowledge and ideas easily.  I’ve a mind now to look on Skype in a better light and use for more business meetings now – will save huge sums in travel costs!!!

If you haven’t already embraced Skype – do so.  It’s free and with the right internet connections a great way to stay in touch!

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