What is mental health First Aid?

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Health Assured team

05 April 2019

When an employee suffers a physical injury at work, the first point of call is the office first aider, right?

Well, the same should apply to your staff’s mental health. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is as the name suggests, first aid for mental health.

One in four adults will experience mental health problems at a point in their lives. And if left unaddressed, these issues can worsen and lead to other underlining problems.

Over the last decade, mental health first aid in the UK has become one of the fastest growing practices in the in relation to supporting employees with their mental health.

It allows first aiders to offer immediate support to staff members experiencing ill mental health. The aim is to reduce the costs associated with ill mental health by increasing the overall wellbeing of employees.

What is mental health first aid training?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training that provides individuals with the skills required to appropriately identify and respond to cases of ill mental health at work.

The biggest causes of sickness absences in the UK is work-related stress, anxiety and depression. According to research, mental ill health is responsible for over 15.4 million lost working days every year. It’s also said to be costing employers over £34 billion a year.

A mental health first aid programme trains employees to recognise the signs of mental health in the workplace problems. It also provides staff members with the skills and awareness necessary to create a safe work environment.

The aim of a mental health first aid course is to offer employers and managers the knowledge and confidence to identify signs of mental health problems. It trains them to encourage employees dealing with these issues to seek the right help.

As well as being a certified first aider, mental health first aid at work also teaches employees to:

  • Identify the early stages of mental health problems.
  • Help colleagues dealing with mental health issues.
  • Remove/reduce the stigma associated with ill mental health.
  • Help staff members have a quicker recovery.

Who should consider the first aid mental health course?

While it’ll be worth it for every employee to take this training, you might want to send a couple of delegates first.

It’ll teach them to provide initial support to colleagues experiencing mental health problems until they can seek professional assistance.

Mental health first aid course cost

The costs of this training ranges depending on location and the type of programme. Cost usually ranges from £100 to £300 per person.

Health Assured offer mental health first aid training courses. Their trainer’s use the Mental Health First Aid England (MHFAE) Adult course content, an internationally recognised programme running in over 20 countries.

Upon completion of the course, you’ll get complimentary mental health first aid resources. Including a mental health first aid manual and workbook, that contains a wealth of information to be used as a reference during and after training. You’ll also receive a ‘Z card’ used to identify the assigned mental health first aiders in the your organisation as well as other mental health first aid tips.

Looking to introduce Mental Health First Aiders into your business or organisation?

If you are looking to train any of your employees to become qualified Mental Health First Aiders and would like to know more about how Health Assured can help, please feel free to contact us today on 0800 756 0893

Alternatively, you can request a call back and a member of our MHFA team will contact you at a time that suits you.

Request a call back


Does mental health first aid expire?

Your MHFA certificate doesn’t expire. However, participants are advised to retake the certification every two to three years. This is to keep up to date with any new research, as well as to refresh their skills.

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