King’s Lynn man, Darren Cheadle has been working with West Norfolk Mind to teach people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be developing a mental health issue.
A trained Mental Health First Aid instructor, Darren (42) has lived in the area for more than 30 years and is passionate about raising awareness of mental health issues and breaking down any stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health problems.
Darren took time off from his day job as a Field Engineer and Organisational Coach for UK Power Networks, to train as a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructor, in February 2015. Since then he has volunteered his time to deliver several MHFA courses including the most recent two-day course offered by West Norfolk Mind, on 27 and 28 May.
In the same way as we learn physical first aid, MHFA helps participants to recognise the symptoms of mental health problems, shows how to offer initial help and provides information about professional support.
Darren said: “One in four of us will experience at least one mental health problem in any one year, and yet many people have limited understanding and confidence in helping someone with a mental health issue.
“It’s great that West Norfolk Mind offer this award-winning MHFA course which equips participants with practical skills to support others who are affected by mental health issues.
“Other people use the training as part of their own recovery, to help them understand more about what’s going on for them, in much the same way as you might want to know more about what had happened and how to look after yourself following a heart attack or other physical condition.”
As a UK Power Networks employee, Darren was able to take advantage of his company’s volunteer leave scheme to deliver the latest MHFA course at West Norfolk Mind’s offices in Blackfriars Street, King’s Lynn. Under the terms of the scheme, staff are able to spend two working days each year helping good causes.
Eddie West-Burnham, Chief Executive for West Norfolk Mind, said: “We would like to say thanks to Darren for delivering the course and to UK Power Networks for allowing him the time to do it.”
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