I have an idea brewing, which I would love to bring to fruition sometime in the next year or two if I can get enough interest.
Two, no three, things prompt it, aside from being a nice idea.
- The two day mental health first aid course is packed. Ram packed with information. The recent update has if anything added more to be squeezed into that two day session. Which is great, in a way – but can be tiring or a bit intense if you are not used to that kind of thing. And at the same time there is often more we want to say, more discussions to be had, questions to be answered. How can we make it both more informative and less grueling – staying till 9pm won’t do it – or be good for anyone’s mental health!
- I’d love to spend more time on the “what helps” side of things – especially the self-help / other supports. For me, MHFA has been hugely important in reminding me that I do have some power to improve my state of mind. I do not have to wait idly by until a doctor or counsellor is available to perform their magic on me. There are things I can do which sometimes are enough to reverse a negative trend. The opportunity to share and try out different options which may help people to take back a bit of their own control would be wonderful.
- Cost – now – I offer the course at what I feel is a reasonable rate, – “subsidising” the MHFA England recommended rate by at least 50%. And I think that in terms of many of my clients – who come via an employer – looking to improve mental health awareness and literacy in their organisation, that is a decent price for two days training in any field. But I recognise it can be a lot for an individual. However, while I can’t afford to do for any less, and still be able to pay costs and my own bills – it strikes me that there might be those who would be interested in an added value option which combines the course with a retreat in a pleasant location, with some extra content and also leisure time.
So what I am thinking is a 5 or 6 day retreat – either somewhere local to me in Yorkshire, or maybe Cumbria. MHFA course content across four mornings, and then in the afternoon we look at self care and wellbeing ideas, based around the five ways to wellbeing / 10 keys to happier living. The middle day could pick up the physical activity angle with a walk in the countryside, giving a break from the classroom (Weather permitting. I’ll cast my mind to alternatives if it doesn’t) Nice, wholesome food, the chance to get to know each other better – or just take some time to relax in the evenings. Oh – and there will have to be books and cake. I am a librarian still you know.
What do you think? If you are interested in hearing more about this or other courses / options – drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org