Exploring the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan
‘A’ is for Approach, Assess and Assist – the first steps to offering support
Taking the first steps to provide support to someone experiencing mental health problems is easier if you can follow a memorable, flexible evidence-based action plan. If you are familiar with the Mental Health First Aid® (MHFA™) Action Plan and its pneumonic device ALGEE®, you will know that A stands for Approach, Assess and Assist in a Crisis.
This could be the first offer of support for someone with a developing, worsening or crisis point mental health problem, who may otherwise not be getting the help they need.
Remember that because every mental health first aid conversation and situation is unique, ALGEE is a flexible plan, that can be used in a fluid way. The ALGEE Action Plan will help you make assessments about how a conversation should progress and what actions to take.
If you need a reminder on the overarching Action Plan (ALGEE) and why it’s important, you can refer to: Exploring the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan before or after you read this article.
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Understanding how to talk about mental health is an important skill. Many people feel uncomfortable and unprepared and this can mean the conversation never starts at all. Mental Health First Aid courses teach you how to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems or a crisis such as thoughts of suicide. You’ll gain the confidence to give the most effective support you can and learn how and when when to recommend and access professional help.
A conversation could change a life and learning the right skills can make the difference.
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