MHFA logoThe Wellbeing For Later Life Project has been engaging with community leaders who work with and support older people in Bedford Borough. Through these discussions, it was identified that there was a keen interest to learn more about how to support older people who may be suffering poor mental health.

As a result, eight community leaders attended the Mental Health First Aid Course through the project's funding. These included housing association staff, two who work directly with the older Asian community; library staff, who go out to rural locations to support older people who are isolated and are unable to access their local library; a member of a local church pastoral care team and a member of Bedford Borough Council's community safety team.

The course had fantastic comments and feedback:

The MHFA course and handbook provided has given me more confidence in identifying issues and supporting the community.

The background on the course has given me the information to have a discussion with the client groups in breaking down some of their stigmas around mental health and wellbeing.

We had discussions around some people not wanting others to know they were experiencing mental health issues and so would take extra care in how they looked. This reinforced that we cannot always know someone is experiencing mental health issues by their physical symptoms and experience but actually having conversations with them and listening to what they are saying can tell us a lot more.

Through attending the Mental Health First Aid Course I have gained valuable insights into identifying those who need mental health support.

The Wellbeing For Later Life Project is focused on building happier and healthier communities for older people and by supporting those who work directly with older people with courses such as the above, it will make a positive impact on those they support.