Mental Health Awareness was just a click away for Kate

Since Learn with Aegis launched its new website in partnership with the Skills Network in March this year, the number of courses offered to learners has grown and grown. Kate Jackson was one learner who has benefited from the unions partnership.

Usdaw Learner Kate

Kate works as an Underwriting Administration Team Leader at the Yorkshire Building Society Head Office in Bradford and has just completed a Level 2 Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems, just one of the courses on the Aegis site. The website has an extensive list of courses available, online demos of what to expect from the course and the benefits and employment opportunities that may be available for anyone completing a specific qualification. 

Kate has been very positive about the courses from the Skills Network on the Aegis site and said:

When looking at the variety of courses available through Learn with Aegis, the Mental Health Level 2 stood out from the crowd for me.”

Mental health is something we all have and I was very keen to learn more and try to understand it better than I did. I enrolled for the online and paper-based distance learning course and promptly received all my workbooks and assessments in the post.”

Kate was a bit taken aback at first when she saw all the books and documents piled up and initially was worried that she wouldn’t be able to do it and that she was out of her depth. However she decided to crack on with the course and was soon hooked.

Kate explained:

I took the first book to bed that evening at around 9pm and I literally couldn’t put it down. I started researching articles, videos and podcasts on topics such as bipolar, eating disorders, OCD, postnatal depression, post-traumatic stress disorder just to name a few.”

I was intrigued and eager to learn. It was around 1am the next morning when I finally looked at the clock and I didn’t know where the time went. My evenings and lunch breaks were dedicated to learning between April and July and it was hard work but so worth it. I loved every moment of the course and disappointed when it came to an end.”

Prior to the course Kate thought of mental health to just be anxiety, depression or stress, but says:

Now I know it’s more diverse than that, it’s a lot more complex than meets the eye. I have studied and developed knowledge in the main areas of mental health and understand what impacts these can have on individuals, their lives, families, friends and other relationships. The content also covered how to best support a mental health sufferer and the treatments, therapies and local resources available.”

Kate was really impressed with the course and the materials, and she said:

I would definitely recommend the course I have learnt so much and it’s great to see how mental health support and help has changed over the years.”

The skills network was brilliant too. I had contact numbers and live chat available to me at certain times should I need it plus my work was scanned and sent over by WhatsApp. My feedback was emailed over to me and always very thorough and timely.  I’ve had my final email now congratulating me on passing the course and just awaiting my certificate and I am already looking at my next learning opportunity.”

Kate is now looking at putting her new skills into practice and have approached MIND charity where she lives and thinking of becoming a volunteer one night a week to support those who need help.

Julie Thompson, Project Worker for Learn with Aegis, is pleased with the new website and the fact that these courses are available to the unions members.

Julie said:

Learn with Aegis were super excited about this new platform for accessing courses.  We get a lot of requests from our learners asking to see a list of courses.”

Typically, we tailor our course suggestions from information we obtain for the learner, where they may have a desire to upskill, change career or access some learning just for fun; However, having all these courses on one site, does allow learners to hit upon a topic, they might not have thought about doing.”

This is what happened in Kates case. By looking through the site and browsing the many different courses it allowed Kate to identify a topic she had an interest in. 

Julie added:

We are really proud as a project team, when we can help learners gain a qualification in a topic that turns into a real passion for them.  Kate is already talking about taking her learning further in this area and using the knowledge she has gained to help others.”

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