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Mental Health Awareness Training Course Outline

Mental health is a key topic right now. Many organisations are now investing in training to make their managers more aware of mental health issues and what they can do to ensure that their workplace culture is one that promotes good mental health.

The course was professionally presented and well paced, with materials that made the learning easier. The trainer's presentation was excellent! The trainer was professional and knowledgeable about the subject material. Responsive to questions and scenarios and also helpful.

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Mental Health Awareness Training - Morning

Part one: First things first. What is meant by the term “mental health”

What is your understanding of the term, “Mental health”.

The World health organisation, (W.H.O.) defines mental health as:

A state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.

Our working definition is:

Mental health is the state of being whereby people feel the optimum emotional responses that are appropriate to the circumstances that face them.

That means that people:

  • Are happy when is it is appropriate to be happy.
  • Are sad when it is appropriate to be sad.

They are confident when it is appropriate to be confident.

  • They are not over-confident
  • They are not too easy to anger
  • They are not blindly optimistic
  • They are not cynical, pessimistic and depressed
  • They are fully functioning, well adapted, adaptable and happy
  • They are evolving beings, perfectly poised to live life to the fullest, even though the future must remain forever uncertain

Mental health impacts your bottom line results

Mental health impacts on “bottom line results” because mental health is about building optimum responses. Poor or inappropriate mental habits creates inappropriate, or destructive emotional responses; which negatively impacts on results.

What you think you are

Signs that indicate a person is in the mental health “danger zone”

Here are a set of fifteen warning signs that a person may be in the danger zone.

  1. Habitual feelings or expressions of anxiousness without clear single cause
  2. Habitual feelings or expressions of anger and or aggressiveness
  3. Habitual feelings of guilt or shame
  4. Chronic lack of optimism, self-confidence and happiness
  5. Inability to take valid criticism of personal performance
  6. Inability to handle setbacks and defeats. Lack of resilience
  7. Inability or refusal to accept the need to change
  8. Incessantly stressing over things over which they have no power to change
  9. Low levels of self-esteem and self-worth
  10. Irrationality. Inability to rationally interpret events: Weird conspiracy theories. Victim mentality
  11. Poor health habits. Misuse of food
  12. Over-use of alcohol: Dependence on alcohol
  13. Over-use of medication. Drug dependence
  14. Inability to sleep. Inability to relax
  15. Depression. Feeling that life’s problems are too much to bear

Everything starts with a thought

Everything in the human world starts with a thought:

The question we need to answer is: Who controls your thoughts?
Simple answer: You control your thoughts. (Or at least you should).

Rule to remember:
“You do what you do and you feel what you feel, primarily because of the thoughts that you allow to dominate your mind.”

A positive mental state relies on your ability to control and direct your mind and your conversation:

  1. Consistently
  2. For extended periods
  3. Irrespective of what others are doing
  4. Irrespective of what others are saying to you

Methods to control the focus of your mind and conversation.

Self-image psychology

The Self-image: The self-image is the sum of all your thoughts feelings and beliefs about who you are, what you think your abilities are, what you think are your limitations, and how you fit in to your social setting.

Abilities. Limitations. What you could do. What you could not. Where you fit in. Where you don’t.

Here is a big question: Who are you? and How do you know?

The Self-image: The golden key to good mental health.

  • Some people have a strong self-image
  • Some people have a weak self-image
  • Most people have a functioning self-image (which has the occasional wobble)

If you want better mental health, then understand the importance of the self-image.

  • You become what you think you are
  • You feel what you think about

How people reveal their self-image by the way they speak.

You can tell something about a person’s self-image, by finding-out how they would be comfortable completing the following half-sentence.
I am a ........ person.

Mental Health Awareness Training - Afternoon

Part three: The Mind-Body connection.

To Change How You're Feeling - Good Way (Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise) - Bad Way (Alcohol, Food, Drugs)'

It is important to remember that you are made up of two elements, mind and body.

  • Your body is the material, solid part of you.
  • Your mind is the immaterial, mental (and spiritual?) part of you.

A healthy mind and a healthy body

A healthy body leads naturally to a healthy mind. If you’re not as happy as you would like to be, then look at your health habits.
If you are not happy, then check your levels of vitality. I suspect that a lack of vitality and low levels of health may be one of the causes.

Mental health awareness - Environmental factors:

Our emotions are affected four major categories of causes:

  1. Our own mental state. What we think about and how we think about it
  2. The actions of others. What other people do to us
  3. The physical state of our body. Our level of health and energy
  4. The physical environment. Our surroundings

I would like to investigate the details of point four:

We are all affected by the external environment.

  1. Some environments are conducive to good mental health and productive efforts
  2. Other environments are NOT conducive to good mental health and productive efforts
  3. And some environments are destructive to good results and may even promote poor results

What is required to have a good mental health and productive effort?

In order to be productive your body needs certain things:

  1. Air, (Oxygen)
  2. Water,
  3. Light, (preferably natural light)
  4. Sound Not too much
  5. And the opportunity for silence
  6. Temperature. (comfortable or not?)
  7. Pressure. (Realistic work load or not)

How would you rate your working environment?

For each of the following, please rate your working environment out of 10.
  1. Good ventilation - Score higher for good ventilation
  2. Access to water - Score higher for good access to water
  3. Good lighting, preferably natural light - Score higher for good lighting
  4. Sound, volume (Loud or quiet) - Score higher for quieter
  5. Temperature (comfortable or not) - Score higher for comfortable

Score out of 50 =
Double it to give a score out of 100.

What is the major weakness?

What could you do to improve on the current situation?

Self-healing

You are not what you think you are!
But what you think, YOU ARE.

Your personal experience is not one thing. It is composed of five subsets, see below.

Your personal experience of a situation is made up of five elements:

Personal Expierence - Facts, Perception, Identification, Evaluation, Response
  1. The objective facts of the situation
  2. What you were able to perceive of that situation: what you saw, heard, touched, tasted, or smelled
  3. Whether or not you identified the facts correctly. Or did you misidentify the facts?
  4. How you evaluated the situation. Did you evaluate the facts logically?
  5. How you respond to the situation. Did you respond in an adaptive, non-adaptive or maladaptive way?

The fact is not inherently good or bad

  • An event is not inherently good or bad. It depends on what you think of it and how you respond
  • Winning the lottery is not inherently good or bad. It depends on how you think of it and how you respond

Shakespeare wrote:
“…. there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so...... Nothing is really good or bad in itself—it's all what a person thinks about it.” -- Hamlet act 2 scene 2.

Summary and personal action planning.

The course contained a good balance between theory and practical exercises. Content could be applied to all of us in the group, despite differences in working backgrounds. I found the conflict management and use of language sections of the course particularly useful. The trainer's presentation was excellent. I'll certainly take away points that I'll implement in work.

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