Alastair Campbell launches mental health scheme in Flintshire
JOURNALIST and author Alastair Campbell visited a Flintshire school to help launch of a new scheme.
Tony Blair’s former press secretary was at St David’s High School in Saltney for the launch of the course, co-ordinated by Flintshire Mind, designed to train people to recognise early signs and symptoms of mental health problems in young people.
Mr Campbell said he has experienced mental health problems in the past, and has campaigned to break down the ‘stigma’ surrounding the issue.
Joining professionals from Mind and young people studying health and social care, Mr Campbell took part in interactive exercises and spoke to participants about mental distress and the importance of seeking help early on.
Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami, who dropped into the school on Friday, said: “Alastair Campbell has always been an excellent advocate for better mental health services.
“Some of the most vulnerable people in our society suffer in silence from poor mental health.
“We need to raise awareness of the services available and the support that Flintshire Mind can provide.”
Jenny Murphy, of Flintshire Mind, said: “We are delighted Alastair Campbell joined us to launch the youth mental health first aid course.”
She added: “Mental health problems can first develop during adolescence or early adulthood.
“Many don’t realise help is available or are worried about the stigma of admitting to a mental health problem.”
The programme covers the first signs of depression, eating disorders and self-harm and is designed to equip adults who live or work with young people with effective listening skills and ideas for self-help strategies.
The first course, funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, will be held on November 15 and 16 in Connah’s Quay. For more details contact Andrea Hurst on 01352 744050 or go to www.mhfa-wales.org.uk.