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Make a real difference with a mental health awareness qualification
‘Mental health is just as important as physical health’ is the view of fitness education provider Study Active’s managing director James Luscombe. With this philosophy in mind, Study Active, an established provider of ELCAS-funded health and fitness qualifications, is now proactively encouraging MoD personnel to study for its level 2 Mental Health Awareness qualification. Better still, the course can be funded using Standard Learning Credits (SLC), to which all MoD personnel are entitled …
What made Study Active, a company renowned nationally for its personal trainer qualifications, want to diversify to educate the masses in mental health?
‘It’s something we’ve been exploring for a long time,’ says James. ‘Mental health problems are very prevalent and it’s apparent there is great synergy between one’s mental and physical health. In fact, I like to use the term “total holistic well-being”, which is more inclusive of the importance of a healthy mind as well as body.’
How does Study Active’s new qualification help educate people on how to be aware of mental health issues?
‘Well, first, it’s a short course, which can be studied remotely, so it can be studied in one’s own time using some fantastic interactive online learning resources, and there are no exams, just online quizzes, so its not a heavy study commitment at all. Moreover, it’s designed to raise awareness and to provide recognition that a successful candidate now has the tools to recognise and act upon a mental health issue. There are no entry requirements whatsoever and the skills really are applicable to any person from any sector. It’s totally universal and certainly applicable to MoD personnel.’
What kind of things will students study?
‘They will first explore a range of mental health conditions, and understand what the signs and symptoms of these are. This is not so they can diagnose themselves or others (only a GP can do that), but is more so they may be able to recognise when something is not right, and to understand the perspective and feelings of someone suffering from a mental health condition. The second part of the course is all about mental health first aid; this looks at what can be done to help people that may be suffering. Obviously treatments are at the discretion of a GP so we’re not really touching on that side of things so much, but instead we are looking at what questions you may ask or what things you should (or should not) say to help someone who may be in need.’
This training sounds extremely useful, how much does it cost?
‘The good news here is that you can apply to use your Standard Learning Credit (SLC) funding to cover up to 80% of the course fee. This means only a small contribution is required from each delegate. It also means that an individual’s SLC allowance is made good use of for the year, as this funding allowance is often left unspent.’
What do you hope launching this qualification will achieve?
‘I think it’s all about everyone feeling empowered that they can help to transform the lives of themselves and others who may be suffering from mental health issues,’ continues James. ‘The important thing is to be able to recognise a mental health issue, be it in yourself or another person, and to act accordingly, whether his means a GP referral, engaging in some talking therapy or even just having a cup of tea with a caring friend. Simply ignoring mental health issues or living in denial is just not helpful, so we really encourage as many people as possible to educate themselves in what to recognise and how to act. It really can make such a difference.’
To find out how to accesss your SLC, please contact your MoD learning centre.
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