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This year Suicide prevention is the focus. Every 40 seconds someone loses their life to suicide.

Can you make a difference? We all can we just have to reach out.

I often wonder how we end up following the path we do.

If we look back just a few years, people with mental health problems were largely ignored by the majority of people.

We walked away from people having a mental health issue.

I know I never for one moment thought I would be able to make a difference.

So as soon as I became aware of mental health first aid it was something I knew I wanted to get involved with. It was starting to sound as if a massive injustice had been taking place.

I wanted to ensure I learnt as much as possible so I enrolled on two mental health first aid trainers courses to get different aspects and opinions.

I can honestly say although I have qualified to teach many subjects, mental health first aid is the only course besides physical first aid that has made me feel that I can actually make a difference to the world we live in.

Being aware of the early signs that someone is not coping can help to direct the individual into the right direction, it may prevent them from becoming poorly.

Communication is a part of everyday life, but knowing how to talk to someone in a crisis, not being afraid to ask how they are feeling and what we can do to help does not always come naturally.

The information and skills I learnt on my courses has really enthused me and given me a desire to share my knowledge with others in the hope we can make life just a little easier for people with mental health problems.

Several people in my family have mental health problems and I know I could have helped them more if I had known how to.

I can’t change the past but I can make sure that when others come into contact with a relative, friend or colleague they are better equipped to be able to react in the best way possible.

That is why I am now passionate and focusing all my efforts to change the way we think about mental ill health and mental health.

There is so much information available via the internet, there are courses available, support groups you can join. You can make a difference but you have to try!