Crossing boundaries – to make sure others don’t!
This week FDAMH extended its boundaries beyond Forth Valley and delivered Understanding Boundaries Training to Third Sector colleagues in Fife. Hosted by Fife Voluntary Action, the course was aimed at volunteers, coordinators and managers working with the public and helped them understand the importance of being aware of their own boundaries as well as those of the people they are in contact with.
Delegate’s comments from the day include:
“I learned more here today than I have done in 8 months of working”
“This has given me material to think about and put into practice in my work place”
“Increased knowledge, especially on identifying personal boundaries”
You can find out more about our Boundaries Training, and other courses from FDAMH, by visiting our Training Academy.
29/01/2016 at 11:51 am
Next COSCA Counselling Skills Certificate starts August 2016
How we communicate, and listen, can determine how successful we are with family, relationships, customers and our workplace colleagues.
The skills and insight you will gain from the COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills are practical and useful, whether you are a professional or volunteer, a carer or helper, a sales person, a parent or a manager, or someone looking for career development.
But what are ‘Counselling Skills’? These are essentially good interpersonal or communication skills. The course will teach you these in depth, including how to use a range of verbal and non-verbal skills such as summarising, asking questions in a helpful way, attending and responding to the speaker. Developing your communication skills through the course will open up a new level of understanding about yourself and others, helping you to enhance your relationships and setting you up for improved performance in many other areas of life.
Feedback from students who have attended the course indicate just how significant the changes and benefits can be:
“As a person I have changed and evolved immensely. Skills gained I can take with me in any walk of life – personal or career wise”.
“My group has only just finished Module 2 but already people are feeding back about improvements in their practice at work, changes in the way in which they interact with family, unexpected changes in themselves, growth in confidence and much more!”
The course is open to anyone and there is no minimum entry requirement. Students include hairdressers, parents, prison officers, teachers, social care employees, funeral directors, telephone advisors, shop assistants, financial service employees, social workers, nurses, sports coaches, NHS support staff and vets!
You do need a genuine interest and a commitment to study, participate and practise the skills you learn. As the course is assessed by written and practical means, effective verbal and communication skills are necessary for you to successfully complete the course.
FDAMH’s next course will commence at the end of August 2016 and is timed to accommodate working and family life. It takes place over the course of one academic year and costs Â£1000 — your employer may be willing to support your costs. The COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills also provides the foundation to further study for those who wish to pursue a career as a Counsellor.
To ensure the very best experience for our students the class size is small, so please apply soon to guarantee your place.
For an informal chat about the course contact Morag Fullard on 01324 671600.
22/01/2016 at 2:11 pm
Dignity in Mental Health
Dignity in mental health is the theme for World Mental Health Day 2015, taking place on Saturday 10th October. Many attempts have been made to identify what dignity actually means. However a consensus has never been reached as in reality it means something different to each person. What is important to understand is that by taking away someone’s dignity you undermine what can often already be a fragile sense of self-worth and your actions or simple thoughtlessness could cause a further decline in someone’s wellbeing.
Falkirk Mental Health Involvement Group put together some thoughts on what dignity means to them. Bear these in mind the next time you come across someone who is experiencing poor mental health!
For the group, a key theme to dignity is being treated equally and not being judged: “I am a human being like any other. Have me on an equal footing.”; “Treat me as an equal! And with mutual respect”; “Being free to be yourself—-Don’t judge me”.
The group had very varied experiences of dignity in employment. Sadly, for some, the workplace had been a very negative experience:
“In a previous place of employment a colleague raised the issue it was unfair of management to expect staff to treat me as an equal. This did not just take my dignity away, it made me feel inferior and belittled.”
“In the organisation where I once worked some people did not like being referred to as my colleague, because I had mental health issues.”
“I was refused membership of a group because of my history of mental health issues. I often wondered what perceptions some people have!”
But thankfully others had experienced how it should be in more enlightened workplaces:
“In my last employment I was very much supported when I become unwell. I was treated as an individual. Working arrangements were put in place to accommodate my needs. I was able to maintain my dignity throughout this time. This is how it should be!”
“My employer was very supportive. When I was too ill to travel they came to see me. Arrangements were put in place so I could keep in contact by e-mail. I remember being eternally grateful at the time!”
For Anne her route to dignity was through meaningful work:
“When a doctor tells you that you have a mental illness, it takes you a few days to come to terms with this information and you slip slowly into your shell. Facing people is very difficult — you just want to keep to yourself, afraid to tell anyone you have a mental illness, and your dignity has eroded so much that you feel as if you are totally alone, even in a room full of people. At Caledonia Clubhouse, I was given a T.E.P. which was a cleaning job, not really much of a job you may say but it was enough to get me back into work and the pride in my achievements this gave me. Going home that first night after work the thought came to me that I’m going home on the bus with other people going home from their work and it certainly made me feel good. As time passed and I got more jobs the better I felt and I must say my dignity started to come back because I was fighting my mental illness and it became easier all the time to face people.”
It might be surprising to learn that even family members do not always understand and that their actions, sometimes unthinking, can undermine people’s dignity:
“When I was ill and in hospital my brother refused to come and see me. He was afraid of the stigma and did not want anyone to know.”
“Although I am better now there are still times when I am not allowed to baby sit.”
So what can you do to help people preserve their dignity? Listen to the pleas of our group members and treat people with respect and as individuals. Improve your own understanding of mental health: organisations like FDAMH provide lots of opportunities for learning for individuals and workplaces and our Carers Education Course helps friends and family members develop understanding as well as strategies for coping and moving forwards. And finally, take on board these final thoughts from our group:
“Having mental health issues does not make me a bad person.”
“People are all different so it can only be expected we will suffer from different mental illnesses.”
“Recognise each individual has value and something to offer.”
“If you want to know what a person with mental health issues looks like, look in the mirror! Mental illness affects 1in 4 people so it could be you tomorrow. Mental illness does not discriminate so why should we be discriminated against!”
“We have the right to keep our dignity!”
If you would like to know more about the Falkirk Involvement Group or would be interested in being part of it please contact Linda on 01324 671600 or email Linda. To find out more about training to help you or your workplace please visit our Training Academy, or if you’re caring for a loved one take a look at Family Support.
Tag: Family/Carers Support, FDAMH, Mental Health, Training, User Involvement & Consultation
07/10/2015 at 10:46 am
FDAMH Celebrates the Official Launch of its Training Academy
Falkirk’s Association for Mental Health continues to blaze a trail by launching Forth Valley’s first Training Academy dedicated to reducing stigma and discrimination surrounding poor mental health.
FDAMH’s Training Academy was launched on Tuesday 25th August by Jamie Hepburn, Scottish Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health. Also in attendance was Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Provost Pat Reid and Dennis Canavan, FDAMH’s Patron and over forty invited guests, marking another milestone in FDAMH’s history.
Mr. David McClements, Chair of the Board of Trustees thanked Mr Hepburn for visiting FDAMH for the second time this summer. He advised that with thousands of hours of training already delivered to individuals and local organisations, the Training Academy aims to build on this success by offering bespoke training and e-learning courses in the near future. This will allow the Training Academy to reach a wider audience and contribute to the goal of further reducing the stigma and discrimination all too often surrounding mental health issues.
Mr Hepburn thanked FDAMH for inviting him to launch the Training Academy and for making him feel so welcome again. Remarking on how impressed he was with the aims of the Training Academy, Mr Hepburn added that he was fully supportive of all initiatives that support people and those caring for them, who live with poor mental health.
If you are interested in finding out more about FDAMH’s Training Academy please visit the Training Academy section of our site using the menu on the left.
Tag: FDAMH, Training
01/09/2015 at 12:11 pm
Pink 2: 2 Media Group – Inspiring a new generation of mental health workers
“This is educational and inspiring for everyone involved” was one student’s response to Pink 2:2’s latest performance of ‘Being Frank’ and is typical of the feedback the group is receiving – there is no doubt that ‘Being Frank’ is proving an excellent tool in the education of future mental health workers. The latest leg of the performance took place in Stirling University’s Macrobert Arts Centre to an audience of student Mental Health Nurses and trainee Social Workers. Supported by the wonderful technicians at the Macrobert’s Playhouse Theatre, the group gave a sterling performance that raised cheers and applause. The subsequent Question and Answer session was excellent, with pertinent and intelligent questions from the students leading to some wonderful discussions between the group and the audience. Students particularly value the openness of the cast, telling us that they find the opportunity for frank discussion invaluable in their own developing understanding of mental health issues. Such was the success of the event that the Head Of Department, Sandy McOmish, is keen to utilise the skills and experience of the group members in the future.
The group members would like to say a huge thank you to all the Stirling University and Macrobert staff for their support in putting on this event. Everyone the group encountered were friendly, accommodating and helped to make the whole experience fun, easy and enjoyable. The group is also delighted that the event was filmed by the university’s AirTV, and are looking forward to watching the completed edit – from “behind the sofa” apparently, but we don’t think you need have anything to fear Pink 2:2!
Tag: Activities, FDAMH, Training
22/05/2015 at 9:57 am
Mindfulness Walk for Mental Health Awareness Week
More than 20 walkers enjoyed the experience of Mindfulness during a guided ‘Mindfulness’ walk on Friday 15th May. Mindfulness is an approach of growing interest to people from all backgrounds, and was chosen by the Mental Health Foundation as the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. After a healthy breakfast for all participants, our gentle stroll from the Victoria Centre to Callander Park was led by Neil Sowerby and blessed by sunshine. FDAMH offers Mindfulness courses to service users, however these are very popular and there is a waiting list – if you’re interested please get in touch with Jane Shirra. Alternatively, if you care for someone with mental health problems you may be eligible to take part in one of our special Mindfulness for Carers Courses – in which case please contact Neil Sowerby.
Tag: FDAMH, Training
19/05/2015 at 2:16 pm