Mental Health First Aid
What is Mental Health First Aid?
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the mental health equivalent of physical first aid. This training is an internationally recognised and accredited two-day course developed by Mental Health First Aid England. It is designed to raise the awareness of mental health and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
A Growing Concern
MIND, the leading mental health charity state that one in four of us are likely to experience a mental health problem each year which is likely to impact on our ability to work. Mental ill health is the single largest cause of disability in the UK when accounting for direct costs of services, lost productivity at work and reduced quality of life (Department of Health).
The Role of a Mental Health First Aider
In general, the role of a Mental health First Aider in the workplace is to be a point of contact for an employee who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction could range from having an initial conversation through to supporting the individual to get appropriate help. In a crisis, Mental health First Aiders are valuable in providing early support for someone who may be developing a mental health issue.
Mental Health First Aiders are not trained to be therapists or psychiatrists or counsellors, but they can offer initial support through non-judgemental listening and guidance.
Mental Health First Aiders are trained to:
- Spot the early signs and symptoms of mental ill health
- Start a supportive conversation with a colleague who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress
- Listen to the person non-judgementally
- Assess the risk of suicide or self-harm
- Encourage the person to access appropriate professional support or self-help strategies
- Escalate to the appropriate emergency services if necessary
- Maintain confidentiality as appropriate
- Complete critical incident documents as and when necessary
- Protect themselves while performing their role
The boundaries of Mental Health First Aid
- At no time does the Mental health First Aider role (or anyone trained in MHFA skills) supersede company policy. First and foremost, Mental Health First Aiders are employees of their organisation.
- Mental Health First Aiders are NOT trained to offer advice.
Attending this course will provide individuals with:
- The practical skills, knowledge and confidence to recognise the symptoms of mental health issues;
- Effectively support anyone experiencing mental distress;
- Provide information on how to guide those experiencing problems towards seeking appropriate professional help.
Who is the training aimed at?
This course is ideal for anyone wanting to become a Mental Health First Aider, including Line Managers, Carers, Wellbeing/Mental Health Champions, HR professionals, Health and Safety representatives and Medical Professionals.
This two-day course is divided into four specific sections covering:
- Mental Health First Aid, mental health and depression
- Depression and suicidal crisis
- Anxiety, personality disorders, eating disorders and self-harm
- Psychosis, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
In each section participants will learn how to:
- Spot the early signs of a mental health issue
- Feel confident helping someone experiencing a mental health issue
- Provide help on a first aid basis
- Help prevent someone from hurting themselves or others
- Help stop a mental health issue from getting worse, and aid faster recovery
- Guide someone towards the right support
The course fee includes a MHFA Manual, Workbook & Certificate from MHFA England.