On Thursday, 5th September 2019, I led a training day for the staff at Lee Abbey as an introduction to mental health and supporting those that struggle with it. This included:
- A 90 minute session on stress, the impact it can have, and how to manage it. We also looked at the arousal response system and the dissociative response system, recognising hyper and hypo-arousal, how to support people back to a window of tolerance, and the impact of chronic stress/trauma creating a hypersensitivity to either of these responses.
- A 60 minute session on trauma, particularly the developmental impact of trauma in childhood and how that impacts our adult lives, and strategies for supporting individuals with that background; including how to create safe spaces for them.
- A 90 minute session introducing the major mental illnesses, strategies to support individuals struggling in those ways, and a positive approach to mental health called “Mindfulness-Based Character Strengths”.
Around 13 people attended the event in Lynton, Devon. I asked for those there to fill out a feedback form on the training I provided, and they all did so. In four different areas they ranked me from 1 (awful) to 6 (excellent). Here are the average scores from their reviews:
- Session Content – 5.69
- Session Delivery – 5.38
- Interaction Level – 5.08
- Use of Media – 5.31
Here are a few quotes from some of the participants:
“A good grounding for understanding such a complex issue.”
“It was so helpful to engage with someone who is coming from a faith perspective and from practical experience of working with folk with mental health issues.”
“The training was comprehensive with a good balance of scientific background and practical strategies for promoting mental well-being. It was also God-centred. Thank you!”
“A wide range of useful insight in both recognising mental health issues and supporting people both re-actively and pro-actively.”
“Informative, realistic, good timings and use of open questions with one another after each section. Appreciated direction with regard to books, further resourcing – thanks.”
“Mental health is something I have had not much understanding of. Matt made so much sense and it was very helpful to hear stories and his rooting the knowledge in a “God” framework.”