Matt Holman, founder of Simpila, Mental Health First Aid trainer and Samaritan volunteer, shares his own experience of mental ill-health and why mental health awareness is so important
Matt Holman is a full-time mental health advocate and trainer but, as he shares on
I am. I have - How it Helps, his life used to be very different. Matt previously worked, for many years, in a high-level corporate role which saw him travelling extensively and ultimately experiencing loneliness, burnout and feelings of detachment from family life.
Matt experienced a mental health crisis in 2016 when his corporate job came to an end. This prompted a decision to change the way he lived, worked and related to the world.
What is Mental Health First Aid?
Now a passionate Mental Health First Aid trainer, Matt shares the power and importance of the training.
"It helps organisations, groups and individuals to start to evolve their awareness of mental health," Matt explains. "It's a proactive approach to the conversation of mental health and mental ill-health.
"Mental Health First Aid is born of the thought that helping people earlier, early intervention, is vital in the road to recovery."
Matt outlines the training programme, now delivered virtually, and the feedback he's received from past attendees. More than anything though, Matt is keen to impress that this training can help each and every one of us to have better conversations with colleagues, friends and loved ones around the subject of poor mental health.
"The skills you learn from Mental Health First Aid are skills you can use in any setting. That could be at home around the dinner table, in the pub with your mates, or with your team at work - and even remotely. It brings about possibilities for each of us to do more...
"Get involved in this awareness and conversation, because you could make the difference."
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