Argyle staff undergo Mental Health First Aid training
We all have mental health, and just like physical health, it needs looking after.
One in four of us will experience a mental health issue in any given year.
Learning more about our mental health and ways to get support can empower people to thrive and that’s why Argyle as a club has taken an important step to get as many of its staff trained to not only support players and fans, but staff too.
15 employees from across the club undertook a two day course this week to become Mental Health First Aiders to coincide with World Mental Health Day.
There was representation from throughout the whole club, including a focus on Academy staff members to ensure our young players can safely navigate through their critical development years, both physically and socially, as well as managing the experiences of school and exams.
The Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course uses both national and international research and lived experience insight to create MHFA courses to benefit individuals and the people they live and work with.
The courses are intended to increase mental health knowledge and confidence and give people the skills to recognise signs of mental ill health in both children and adults. The training can reduce stigma and increase people’s willingness to support.
Mackenzie Brown, Argyle Head of Academy Player Care and Wellbeing said of the initiative: “The mental health and welfare of the young people in our Academy is at the forefront of everything we do and to have so many Academy staff across different disciplines completing this course is fantastic. This training is going to contribute to ensuring that we continue to offer the best support possible.”
The mental health issues covered included depression, anxiety, eating disorders, psychosis, and substance misuse while the mental health crises covered were suicidal thoughts, self-harm, panic attacks, and trauma.
Siobhan Robbie-James Argyle Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager added: “The knowledge and skills I have learned from the course have given me the confidence to start conversations and hopefully be able to support individuals should they need support.
"I’m really pleased that so many staff volunteered to undertake the training and I hope that it will make a positive impact to our workplace, our players, and fans for years to come.”
Over the past 20 years the importance of improving the physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people has been especially important in the UK and through government.
A mentally healthy community is a productive and creative one. Argyle is taking a whole-organisation approach – with trained personnel in nearly all departments across the Club and partner sites – together to make a positive change to conversations around mental health.