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Author: Catherine
Date: April 19, 2024

How to effectively work with people with personality disorders and the importance of mental health training

For many years, issues surrounding mental health were suppressed, but thankfully these days, we know a lot more about the subject, and people are now actively encouraged to talk about their struggles and seek help.

However, it can sometimes be difficult to know how to help someone, whether they are struggling with depression, anxiety, personality disorders or any other mental health condition. That is why it is important to make sure that we understand what these issues mean and how we can respond to them.

One of the best solutions is to undergo training courses such as mental health awareness, understanding personality disorders or becoming a mental health first aider. With more people being better equipped to understand and help those who are suffering, then it will become much easier to access support and get back on track.

What is a personality disorder?

Personality disorders are something that need to be supported with a great deal of care and sensitivity, which is why proper training in the area is essential. Someone who has a personality disorder may be likely to think, feel or behave differently to most other people.

Borderline Personality Disorder

In the case of a borderline personality disorder, you might find that the individual involved has disturbed ways of thinking, is prone to some impulsive behaviour and can struggle to control their emotions. They will often be part of some unstable relationships and may suffer from fears of abandonment.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

If someone has an antisocial personality disorder, they might become easily frustrated, which can result in outbursts of anger. They may have a tendency to blame others for the problems in their lives and can become aggressive, violent and upset with the way in which they behave.

It is also quite common for people living with a personality disorder to also have other mental health conditions, including depression or addictions.

There are a range of treatments that are suitable for those with personality disorders including talking therapies, therapeutic communities and medication. However, it can at times feel difficult working with someone who has a personality disorder if it is not properly understood, and therefore undergoing mental health training can be a huge benefit.

Mental health first aid

We think nothing of sending someone to attend a typical first aid course so that they can bandage a wound or perform CPR, but helping someone who has issues with their mental health can be just as important as those suffering with their physical health. This can make mental health first aid training essential, especially when you consider how prevalent mental health issues can be.

It is believed that 72 million working days are lost each year due to mental health, which costs businesses around £34.9 billion annually. This means that mental health training can be a small investment to achieve a much greater goal, as studies show it can reduce these costs by around 30%.

Mental health first aid courses can teach people how to spot the signs of a mental health issue in the workplace and the best ways in which to support them. It can help to identify signs of distress and how to deal with them in the moment, as well as how to support those with longer term issues.

Whilst mental health first aid does not teach you to “therapise” or become a counsellor, it can help you to spot who needs help, and how you can support them in the workplace or signpost them towards people and places where they can access the sort of help that they need.

Mental health first aid in the workplace

Mental health issues are still surrounded by a lot of stigma, especially in the case of personality disorders, and having a mental health first aider in the workplace can be a big step towards eradicating this. It can show that the business is understanding and supportive and gives people someone that they can turn to for help if they need to. It can change the way that mental health is perceived, both by the individual concerned and throughout the wider business.

This can help to ensure that the workforce is a healthier place in every sense and can encourage more people to seek psychological support or medication to deal with their problems. By having a mental health first aider in the business, it can encourage employees to speak more openly about their issues with their managers, and therefore seek the support that they need to function in their role.

As some issues, such as personality disorders, can present difficulties within the workplace, a mental health first aider can also help to support other staff, friends and managers. They can help to establish a process of education so that those in the workplace can understand how to be more supportive of someone suffering from a personality disorder.

It can be difficult to know how to speak to someone, or to be fearful of triggering a negative reaction, and so a mental health first aider can offer advice and support on the best way to approach things and where they can find more information. By helping them to understand the condition better, they can often be more supportive to their colleague and dispel many of the myths and inaccuracies surrounding it.

By facing mental health conditions head on, it can be a big step towards improving a workplace for everyone. It prioritises wellbeing and gives people the chance to build resilience and understanding both of themselves and others. This means that it is much easier to spot signs earlier and encourage people to seek help in whatever way that they need.

A mental health first aider is not expected to diagnose and treat those with personality disorders or other mental health conditions, but they can help the sufferer and those around them to understand it better. Once this spirit of openness is established, it can become much easier for people to find help, and more effective ways of working that will help them and the business that they are part of.

How can we help?

We have a number of courses available to help people to get a better understanding of personality disorders as well as mental health training courses including mental health first aid in work and mental health awareness courses. You can browse our social care courses here.

Empeiria Training is all about offering training that is unique and bespoke to your organisation and its needs. Backed by decades of experience, we offer a safe environment for face-to-face learning, with our specialism being working with people with learning disabilities.
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