AN outdoor adventure company has launched a new mental health course.

Land and Wave has started its own mental health first aid course ahead of mental health week, which begins on May 13.

Company marketing director, Rosie Tanner, said the business had recognised the importance of mental health and the growing need for a qualified mental health first aider.

“We sent Paul Burton, one of our outdoor instructors, on a mental health first aid training course last year,” she said.

“Paul’s feedback from the course was so insightful and important that we organised for him to become a course leader and then sent the whole Land & Wave team on the course too.”

Paul was previously a secondary school teacher and had experience of recognising mental health issues in young people. He said: “This felt like the natural progression and next step, to go on and become a trainer myself.

“As colleagues, especially if you see each other often, you have a better chance of spotting the signs that someone is suffering with their mental health.

“These signs could be changes in behaviour, how they communicate, if they’re withdrawing, oversharing or over divulging, or if they seem less stable than they were.

“Another tell-tale sign is if your colleague’s self-care isn’t being maintained.

“Very often, if people are feeling overwhelmed, self-care can be one of the first things to be affected. These seemingly menial daily jobs we do; showering, brushing our teeth etc, these are all a form of self-care and build up a resilience.

“Resilience is made up of five pillars: self-awareness, mindfulness, self-care, positive relationships and purpose. By strengthening these pillars, we in turn, become more resilient and our mental health becomes stronger.”

Paul said to enact the mental health first aid action plan if you are worried about someone.

This is CARE: C for check [for signs of risk of suicide or self-harm], A for ‘apply non-judgemental communication skills’, R is for ‘reassure and provide information’ and E is for ‘encourage professional support’.

For more information, visit the Land and Wave website.