A FORMER serviceman who has battled depression hopes to highlight the signs of mental ill health to business bosses through a two-day course this weekend.

Matt Hartill became a mental health first aider following a fight with depression after serving with the armed forces in Northern Ireland – and now he hopes to help traders and business leaders in the town to spot the signs and symptoms of those who may be struggling with mental health issues at work.

Together with friend Ian Hines, a recovering drug addict turned construction industry manager, he has set up Mental Health First which trains and qualifies mental health first aiders in work and leisure places – and they are holding a course at Stourbridge’s Talbot Hotel this Saturday and Sunday (June 8 and 9).

The course covers how employers can offer first aid to colleagues suffering with depression and contemplating suicide.

It also covers anxiety, personality disorders, eating disorders, self-harm and offers guidance on how bosses can recognise the symptoms and guide sufferers towards professional help.

To find out more check out Mental Health First on Facebook or https://mentalhealthfirst.info/.

Matt said: “The main drive is to help educate as many people as possible about mental health, much of the course focusses on suicide and how to help anyone who is suffering with mental ill health through contact and signposting.

“We’ve got local business that have signed up and are coming onto the course.

“We do need to charge to be able to run it but financial gain is not our main objective.”