Terriers add Mental Health Support officer to Club

December 2, 2018



Terriers are proud to annouce that we've now added a Mental Health Support Ofiicer to the club in Mateusz Kiecz.

It was thanks to cooperation between Rob Wilson, Leeds LGBT+ Community, and Helen Saunders, Mental Health First Aid instructor, that Yorkshire Terriers now have their own Mental Health First Aider on hand. Mateusz attended the extensive course on 3rd and 10th November, which formalised his knowledge and added to his already extensive experience in mental health services he acquired in his job as a Polish language interpreter. This will support him in his roles at Yorkshire Terriers, which include playing duties, as well as First Aid in mental health.

Mateusz, and a dozen or so other volunteers from various organisations in Leeds and surrounding areas, had the pleasure of being instructed by a well-experienced instructor, who provided invaluable insight into issues experienced by people with mental health problems. The group was very dynamic and diverse, which allowed for interesting discussions and exchanges of ideas about various statistics and information provided within the body of the course.

Main topics in the course centred around providing initial approach and assessment of a person with a mental health issue, giving attendees a foundation for the first aid assessment which might be crucial for the person in need of help. Later on, the course focused on various problems, including, but not limited to, suicide prevention, substance misuse, anxiety disorders, self-harm, eating disorders and personality disorders.

"It was a very interesting course", said Mateusz, "and it allowed me to look at the issues from a completely new perspective. I feel more equipped with the skills that will enable me to try and help before people can get help from professionals, which nowadays, isn’t always at hand right there and then. This might make for the difference between that person’s quick recovery or a long-term problem."

It is very important each organisation has a mental health first aider, as we are living in challenging times and problems with mental health are more widespread than some might think. Also, the well-being of any organisation’s members should be one of its highest priorities, since it directly affects the organisation’s performance and has far wider consequences than just that person's mood or attitude.

The course was provided at the materials cost only and Terriers would like to express their gratitude to Rob Wilson and all others who have made this course available for us. 

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