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Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council Logo

18/05/2023

We are the Community Mental Health Champions

To help tackle mental health issues in the area, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council recently funded and ran a series of workshops to train up local community volunteers on Mental Health First Aid. These volunteers, now known as ‘Community Mental Health Champions’, have been trained on how to recognise a range of mental health conditions, how to start a supportive conversation and how to sign post people to seek appropriate professional help.

The training was successfully delivered to 66 volunteers across the Borough who were each awarded with an accredited ‘Level 2 Award in First Aid for Mental Health’ certificate. The feedback from the community volunteers who completed the training has been extremely positive.

Mairead O’Hare who completed the training said “I currently volunteer in four community groups. Northern Ireland is facing a mental health crisis like never witnessed before. It is vital we strive to reflect and self-manage our mental health as best we can. This course gave some insight into this as well as identifying and how to react when you witness a deterioration in the mental health of family and friends. I would highly recommend this course.”

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman Stephen Ross added, “Each year in the UK, one in four people will experience a mental health condition. Mental health conditions are often hidden due to stigma and the fear of discrimination. We hope that this programme encourages people to open up about their mental health struggles. We look forward to working with the Community Mental Health Champions to improve the mental health of all our residents moving forward.”

This initiative is just one of the many events which have been planned by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council to help improve the mental health of residents in the Borough.

For more information on the Community Mental Health Champions programme or any of the Council’s other Mental Health initiatives
E. cpbs@antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk