Mental Health Awareness

Trust hosts Mental Health First Aider


Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust now has a certified Mental Health First Aider in its camp. Dale Pryde-MacDonald, currently Experience Officer for Falls of Shin, completed the 2-day NHS course in Inverurie on 22nd & 23rd January 2019.

Designed to provide first aid support for mental health suffers, the course equipped attendees with information on handling a range of mental health issues. The course, which covered issues such as self-harming, suicide, depression, anxiety, and psychosis was part of a wide rolling out of this service across Scotland.

Dale said “Through my position at Brora Rangers Football Club I was offered a position on the course. Many years ago, a young footballer Chris Mitchell, committed suicide and in light of his death his family set up the Chris Mitchell Foundation to raise further awareness of mental health in football. Through a very long process they worked with the NHS and SPFL Trust to bring more of the Mental Health First Aid courses to the public. In early December I was contacted by the SPFL (Scottish Professional Football League) about the course and I really grasped it with both hands. The beauty of the course was, it’s totally transferable to my employment, my family & friends and my other volunteering as well as the football club with it being NHS accredited.”

As mentioned, the course was funded by the Chris Mitchell Foundation, and allowed 13 attendees to take part in the course. It is hoped that through this training Dale can now work with colleagues at the Trust to increase their awareness on how to identify, and handle issues relating to mental health.

“A huge part of why mental health is important to me is because I have suffered, but also it’s important to realise that it doesn’t just apply to certain people, everybody has to have an awareness of it. I really cannot speak highly enough of the Chris Mitchell Foundation. Their encouragement, dedication and focus on mental health has been so incredible and they are making a huge change in society. Although this course was offered through a footballing route, everybody in football has a job, friends, family or hobbies and pastimes where these skills can be used when they need to be.”