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YMCA Norfolk launch mental health first aid service 

YMCA Norfolk has launched a new service which aims to put mental health first aid on a par with physical health first aid for those working with young people across Norfolk.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 10% of children and young people have a mental health problem at one time or another.

YMCA Norfolk colleagues Charlie Smith and Jess Tyson are launched the new service this week (16-22nd May) as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

They will be delivering their first Mental Health First Aid sessions to workers within YMCA Norfolk and offering the training to schools and organisations working with young people. The training is suitable for teachers, parents and young volunteers.

The initiative follows on from a YMCA Norfolk Mental Health Champions project the pair ran last year which promoted peer support to de-stigmatise mental health and help identify and signpost young people affected.

Young Health Champion Co-ordinator, Charlie, said: “We would like to see mental health training given equal prominence to physical first aid training. The qualification does not give staff the ability to ‘cure’ or provide one-to-one care, but it will give them the ability, as with physical first aid, to act quickly and with confidence.

“It will improve participants’ understanding of mental health issues, and how to deal with stressful situations and teach them how to speak to people who are vulnerable.”

The training covers dealing with more common problems such as anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders and depression through to less understood issues such as eating disorders and psychosis and will be run in YMCA venues in Norwich and Great Yarmouth as well as in the wider community in schools and with youth chubs and organisations.

To find out more about how you could be trained in Mental Health First Aid Training contact Charlie Smith at or on 07894 566615. 

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