The council is offering a two-day online course for residents to become mental health “first aiders”.
According to Mind’s findings, 1 in 5 adults with no previous experience of problems said that their mental health is now poor or very poor.
Working with Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid – the voluntary network of residents, volunteer and faith groups which started in March – the council’s course is reaching out to people who are already providing informal support, whether as sports coaches, a trusted relative or just a neighbour who cares.
Rowenna Davis, an organiser for Croydon Covid-19 Mutual Aid, said, “While the physical suffering from coronavirus is well known, we are all still getting to grips with the mental impact. Many families have suffered directly or even lost loved ones and all of us still feel the pressures of lockdown.
“While volunteers can never replace frontline professionals, residents are often the first ones to recognise when someone they know or love is suffering. This training should help people recognise the signs of developing mental health problems and provide guidance for early intervention.”
More than 200 applications have already been received for the course, which is run by Mental Health First Aid England, and more than 100 have already completed the course. Applications include more than 40 mental health organisations as well as churches, mosques, colleges, businesses, schools and charities.
Janet Campbell, the council’s cabinet member for families, health and social care said, “The pandemic has caused incredible loss, stress and uncertainty.
“However, in the face of huge challenges Croydon’s community has united to support each other and we are encouraging Croydon residents to keep volunteering and take this funded course in order to help others in our community.”
To apply for the course email MHFA@croydon.gov.uk.
You can find out more on Facebook at Croydon Covid 19 Mutual Aid and on Twitter @CroydonCovidMA
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