World Mental Health Day Shines Light On Psychological First Aid

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The Law Of... providing support to those in distress

First organised by the World Federation for Mental Health, the World Mental Health Day has raised awareness and brought together mental health charities and organisations for over two decades.

The Law Of... providing support to those in distress

Celebrated on the 10th of October every year, each World Mental Health Day features a different theme, which looks to raise awareness and understanding of one area of mental health.

Explaining this year's theme, Anna Thompson – Associate on Simpson Millar's Personal Injury team – describes how psychological inflictions can often be more debilitating than physical injuries following an accident.

Psychological First Aid

This year's theme, Dignity in Mental Health-Psychological & Mental Health First Aid for All, is designed to tackle the stigma attached to mental health conditions.

The World Federation for Mental Health hopes that this theme contributes to the longstanding goal of taking mental health out of the shadows, so that those affected no longer face isolation or discrimination.

In a detailed report published for World Mental Health Day, the organisation highlights:

  • The key elements in psychological & mental health first aid
  • How to take action on mental health issues
  • A call to action to improve dignity in mental health

Other organisations are also supporting the day of action, with mental health charity Heads Together holding an event in London that is being supported by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Impact Of Traumatic Events On Mental Health

The Mental Health Foundation have also published detailed reports to commemorate World Mental Health Day, with one study examining the impact traumatic events have on mental health.

This report highlights that around 1 in 3 adults in England claim to have experienced at least one traumatic event during their lifetime, with common examples being:

Two of most common mental health conditions experienced by people after a traumatic event, whether or not they are physically harmed during the incident, is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

Anna explains how these conditions can often have a more long-lasting effect than many physical injuries:

"Many of our clients suffer from PTSD following an accident or traumatic incident."

"Sometimes the psychological symptoms suffered following an accident can be far worse than the physical injuries and it is imperative that the correct treatment is provided at the earliest opportunity."

"In the immediate aftermath of an accident or life-changing injury, access to the best care is crucial for rehabilitation."

"There are guidelines for those involved in an accident who are suffering from serious injuries, whether these are physical or psychological, and I would heed anybody affected by mental health issues after an accident to heed the following guidelines from the Rehabilitation Code 2015"

"The injured client is put at the centre of the process and the need for rehabilitation is addressed as a priority. The claimant’s lawyer and compensator are to work together on a collaborative basis to address the injured claimant’s needs from the very beginning"

"The Mental Health Foundation also provide guidance to those who are suffering from a mental health condition following a traumatic event, namely this involves ensuring you are safe by looking after your own health and wellbeing; turning to others for support and being around people that make you feel comfortable; and seeking professional help when you feel unsure of where to turn."

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