Heriot’s Rugby Super6 coach Andrew Kelly has become the club’s first Mental Health First Aider.
Andrew taking on this new role is part of Heriot’s Rugby Club developing a Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy to support players and members.
‘‘It’s really important having a Mental Health First Aider at the club,’’ he said.
‘‘About one in four people will experience some sort of mental health problem in their lifetime so it’s important to have someone at the club for people to go to for support.’’
Heriot’s Rugby Club Operation’s Director Tony Delaney is the driving force behind the development of the new policy.
“Mental Health is often considered a taboo subject; with many people preferring to avoid the subject at all costs – having our Head Coach as the focal point will hopefully provide the initial access to support and signposting to the expert medical professionals,” he said.
“The directors at Heriot’s Rugby Club are cognisant of the required duty of care that the club has for its employees, players, coaches, volunteers, members and each other.
‘‘When reflecting on how we run the club and reviewing our policies and procedures, we identified that we could and should do more to support the mental health and wellbeing of all associated with Heriot’s Rugby Club – Andrew’s appointment is a step in the right direction.”
To become qualified Andrew completed the First Aid for Mental Health delivered by the Good Mental Health Company.
The company are specialists in providing the course online, with Andrew completing live sessions and an assessment to earn his qualification.
‘‘The main take away from the course for me is to be able to see warning signs in people, to then approach them to start a conversation and then to signpost where they might find help.
‘‘Some people might just need a conversation to get things off their chest or encouragement to speak to friends, family or their GP.’’