Voluntary agencies are being given special first aid training to help detect the early signs of mental health problems.

Two specialists, paid for by Wiltshire Council’s public health team, are running the mental health first aid training courses on March 8 and 15 at Trowbridge Hospital.

The fully subscribed courses are aimed at people working with those who may have mental health issues.

The training will make the volunteers aware of any signs or symptoms and give advice about supporting someone to seek help.

Corporate Director Maggie Rae said: “These courses are always well attended and really do help people have a good awareness. We know people in Wiltshire are well motivated to help others but when it comes to mental health problems we can feel embarrassed, out of our depth or not sure what to say or how to say the right thing.”

Early detection of mental health issues can mean those affected get the support they need before their situation becomes more serious.

Wiltshire Councillor Keith Humphries, cabinet member for public health and protection, said: “These courses give staff and volunteers the confidence and insight that can be needed to help someone who may be experiencing mental health issues.”