What is Emotional CPR

Emotional CPR is one of those terms in the mental health lexicon that a lot of us have heard about. Whether you are just a consumer of mental health services, or someone who is breaking into peer work, it’s something that comes up as a must do training for those working with lived experience, but what exactly is it, and why should you do it?

Firstly, we should look at what it is exactly. eCPR is a public health education program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis. This program was designed in collaboration with reflecting on their own emotional crisis’ and how these crisis’ can act as an opportunity for personal growth. An emotional crisis is something that can effect anyone at any time in their life. When we are exposed to extraordinary situation, we develop amazing and creative ways to protect ourselves. To onlookers, this can look very odd, or even concerning, but to us, in those situations, those mechanisms have meaning. eCPR helps people better understand and overcome our fear of seemingly unusual behaviour brought on by an emotional crisis. So, How is It Done eCPR breaks this process of connecting an understanding down to three simple steps, which, somewhat, make up the name of the process.

C= Connecting

Connecting involves the deepening of listening skills, and creating a sense of safety and respect for person in crisis.

P= emPowering

emPowering is about helping people with the finding their own power, working with them to shift away from anger and distress.

R= Revitalising

Revitalising is about helping people to identify the way forward, helping people move themselves towards their own support, and purpose. Each of these steps approaches mental distress from a holistic, hopeful and empowering approach. We see emotional distress as a form of communication, and using this training, we can act as a bridge for people in those circumstances to the outside world.

So How Do I get This Training

At VMIAC, we are going to be running a number of workshops in eCPR over the coming months. Each training will take place over multiple days and run by trainers who all have their own complex lived experience and have been a part of this training themselves. With respect to social distancing, each

training will be done online, simultaneously opening it up to more people. We will be announcing dates and signups for these sessions very soon.

Why Should People Do This Training

“The eCPR training was very powerful – even over web conferencing! It definitely takes practice but the results are amazing. I feel a lot more confident in helping someone who is in mental or emotional distress by meeting them where they are at.”

eCPR is something that can benefit all of us.

None of us are born with the inherent understanding of emotional distress and its form of complex communication. When we are presented with people in these circumstances, it is natural to want to be there to support them. Before we do though, we need to develop the tools, and eCPR is one of the ways we can do that, as well as gain insight into our own distress. One of the biggest things people with experience of mental health services comment on, is the support, or lack thereof, that they received when they were experiencing these extraordinary circumstances. Being there to provide effective support to those who need it, with the right communication, could make the world of difference.