Mental Health First Aid Kits

Many of us have built basic first aid kits with our Guides but when I was at Connect 2018, one of the trainers had us build mini first aid kits for mental health.  I thought it was a clever idea and might be a great jumping off point for talking to the girls about things that make us feel better when our day is going down hill.  The kits can be assembled out of inexpensive items found at a dollar or discount store or for older girls, it might be appropriate to provide them with a list and ask them to make their own kit over the week and share what they choose the following meeting.  If you are providing items for the girls to assemble their own kits, I’d recommend providing some variation within each category (ie different flavours of tea or different smelling bath salts) so the girls can select one that speaks to them.

The idea is to provide things to stimulate the senses and give the user a chance to calm down and find their equilibrium.

Sight: photos, postcards, a smily sticker, a short story,  a list of reasons you will be ok, something shiny etc.

Smell: something that has a smell you find soothing such as candles, bath salts, moisturizer etc.

Touch: fuzzy socks, stress ball, worry stone, craft kit, adult colouring supplies, fidget toy, heat or cold pack etc.

Taste: chocolate, gum, tea, lip balm, candy etc.

Sound: Favourite song, poem, something that makes a pleasing sound, ear plugs etc.

Spirit: Favourite quote, note from someone who loves you, jokes or memes, a reminder to love yourself etc.

You may also want to include things like this self care checklist from Tumblr.

You can put it all in a plain ziplock bag, or decorate it to add to the effect.

It is worth noting that those with diagnosed mental illnesses may also want to include emergency medication or objects or papers that help their particular condition.


Pick it Up

In this game a table is covered in small object.  The players are divided into two small teams (2-3 per team is ideal).  Each round a clue is read and the first team to pick up the appropriate item wins a point.

For example: Cover a table in the contents of a first aid kit.  To make the game harder you can also add other items that don’t belong in a first aid kit.  Ask questions like,

This item is used to tie a sling (Triangular bandage)

This item is used to protect your hands while helping others (latex gloves)



First Aid Badge

The last two meetings we’ve been working on the First Aid Badge along with the first aid sections of Learn About Safety.

The first week we had a guest speaker come to the meeting.  We alternated teaching time with the girls breaking into groups and trying things out.  The speaker covered all the basics of emergency scene management.  She talked to the girls about the recovery position, getting help in a timely way and choking.

The second week we held a round robin of first aid skills.

  • The girls learned about rescue breathing
  • A station about cuts, scrapes and wounds and played a flip puzzle about types of band-aids
  • A station about burns, sunburns, hypothermia and frostbit where they played a variation on Becky’s (Dragon’s) red light, green light first aid game.
  • At the final station they made mini-first aid kits, like the ones made in film-canisters, only we used pill bottles donated by local pharmacies.