Training Peer Supporters in the mental health forum has been my life for over 15 years. It’s certainly not the only part of my life but it is the part which gives me purpose and showcases my skills so it is also the part which makes me feel most alive, and valuable.
This week my skill is being challenged because rather than training mental health consumers I am training a room full of police and first responders. Usually I am training people who live with mental illness to work with others who have mental illness. Mental health consumers tend to be very transparent and open about the issues they have had in life. Police officers and first responders, much like the military, have obstacles to transparency by the very nature of their work and from the “macho” expectation of the positions they hold.
The learning styles of the two groups are also very different and what worked like a charm for the consumer groups we have taught has needed some on the fly revision to fit the audience. I spent the night preparing and the day second guessing myself, wondering if we were doing the delivery of the material in a way which was relevant and meaningful to them.
Consequence! I’m tired and when I get tired I get forgetful. Tonight that means I left the power cord for my computer in the training room at the Brantford Police Station and the battery will likely going to run out of juice about the same time I collapse on the bed of my hotel room to watch something absolutely meaningless after consuming one or two glasses of wine.
Aside – Besides, that station is like Fort Knox and there is no way I could ever get to that cord without an armed escort. Heck, we can’t even go to the bathroom without someone to let us back in.