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Housing Engagement Worker Ben retrains to become a Mental Health First Aid Trainer

24 January 2018

Inspired to help young people experiencing mental health difficulties, Ben retrained to become a Mental Health First Aid Trainer for YMCA Norfolk.

Read more about his story….

Hello my name is Ben Hampton and I have worked for the YMCA for the last two years in housing, engaging with young people across Norfolk who have become homeless due to a number of circumstances. A circumstance which comes up frequently is that of mental health which sometimes has adverse effects on young people’s life which can affect jobs, relationships and their housing situation. An important aspect of care offered towards a person’s mental health is that off early intervention which is the practice of taking action of a problem as soon as possible for children and families before they become more difficult to reverse. This practice I feel extremely passionate towards which is why I have started a new role in the Communities team as a youth engagement worker.

This new role sees me working with schools and colleges holding workshops on mental health and giving children knowledge about mental health in a way which is understandable to them. My first presentation was at Gresham Prep School and it was encouraging to see young children with a knowledge of mental health and great to know I was adding to this knowledge, hopefully giving them advice and skills of when to seek help when they need it and also informing them that mental health can be treated and it that there is no shame in having mental health difficulties.

I was also lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to go on training course to become a mental health first aid instructor for the YMCA, the training now allows me to deliver to internal and external practitioners a two day course all about spotting the signs and symptoms of mental health and what to do once these signs have been identified. Through the YMCA putting me on this course this has also given me more confidence and has helped getting me over a fear that I have of public speaking and I now feel I have even more ability to help the young people I work with.

I look forward to continuing my work in my new role and going out to more education and workplaces spreading the positive message the YMCA has about changing opinions on mental health and the ways in which we can help young people have a more fulfilled life.