Pathlight - Mental Health First Aid Training

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally-recognised training course that teaches people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis.  It’s the mental health equivalent of physical first aid.

Adult MHFA training is aimed at those who wish to support adults who may be experiencing mental health issues, either in their workplace or in their private lives.

MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.

You will learn to recognise warning signs of mental ill health and develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone whilst keeping yourself safe.

You will also learn how to empower someone to access the support they might need for recovery or successful management of symptoms.  This could include self-help books or websites, accessing therapy services through their GP, their school or place of work, online self-referral, support groups and more.

In addition, you will gain an understanding of how to tackle stigma in the world around you and how to support positive wellbeing for yourself and others.

MHFA Instructor Member Badge

MHFA England Instructor Member

As an MHFA England Instructor Member, Pathlight offers Mental Health First Aid training to individuals and organisations in the Greater Manchester and London areas.

As an optional extra benefit, Pathlight offers post-training support to individuals and organisations that have attended our Mental Health First Aid training programmes.  This support can take the form of:

  • Telephone, email or face-to-face support for individuals who may have been emotionally affected by an incident in their role as a Mental Health First Aider;
  • Regular or one-off reviews around embedding MHFA into your workplace MHFA; or
  • Ad hoc telephone, email or face-to-face consultancy support on specific issues.

Individuals

Click the button below for details of upcoming Adult Mental Health First Aid courses.

Organisations

In-house MHFA training courses for organisations responding to their corporate culture and ethical responsibilities around employee wellbeing.  Courses are suitable for all employees aged 16 or over.  Pathlight’s MHFA courses can be delivered in a generic fashion or can be tailored to specific groups such as:

  • people managers, leadership teams or HR departments…
    or specific industries such as:
  • teaching, construction or financial services.​

Which Mental Health First Aid Course is Right for You?

The 2-day Adult MHFA training results in certified Mental Health First Aider status.  It gives people an in-depth understanding of mental health and the factors that affect wellbeing and the practical skills to identify the triggers and signs of mental health issues.  You will also gain the confidence to step in, reassure and support a person experiencing mental distress and enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening.  In addition, you will gain the knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further professional or self-help support.  

The course is split into four manageable sessions, each teaching practical skills that can be used every day.  We cover many topics, including depression, anxiety, stress, suicide, addiction, listening skills, crisis first aid after a traumatic event, personality disorders, addictions, psychosis, action planning using MHFA and more.  Parts of the course can be quite emotional but it’s a really empowering and enlightening training.

The course can be attended by anyone aged 16 and over, whether you wish to become an appointed Mental Health First Aider at your place of work or wish to support your family and friends who may be experiencing mental health issues.

Everyone who completes the course will get:

  • A copy of the official MHFA England manual to refer to whenever required;
  • An MHFA workbook, including a helpful toolkit to support their own mental health;
  • A quick reference card for the Mental Health First Aid action plan;
  • A certificate from MHFA England showing that they are a qualified Mental Health First Aider; and
  • A branded tote bag, pen and lanyard.

The one-day course qualifies you as an MHFA Champion.  It will give you an understanding of common mental health issues and an ability to spot the signs of mental ill health, the confidence to advocate for mental health awareness and skills to support positive wellbeing.

Everyone who completes the course will get:

  • A copy of the official MHFA England manual to refer to whenever required;
  • An MHFA workbook, including a helpful toolkit to support their own mental health;
  • A quick reference card for the Mental Health First Aid action plan;
  • A certificate from MHFA England showing that they are a qualified MHFA Champion; and
  • A branded tote bag, pen and lanyard.

This introductory 4-hour session raises awareness of what mental health is, how to challenge the stigma around it, a basic knowledge of some common mental health issues and how to support people who are experiencing a mental health issue, plus an introduction to looking after your own wellbeing.

Everyone who completes the course will get:

  • A copy of the official MHFA England manual to refer to whenever required;
  • An MHFA workbook, including a helpful toolkit to support their own mental health; and
  • A certificate from MHFA England to say you are Mental Health Aware.

Why invest in Mental Health First Aid training?

Mental health issues cost UK companies vast sums of money every year. 
In the UK:

  • 1 in 4 people will report experiencing a mental health issue in any given year.
  • Stress, anxiety and depression are the biggest causes of sickness absence from work.
  • 91 million working days are lost each year due to mental health issues.
  • This equates to £34.9bn p.a. due to absence, reduced productivity and staff turnover.
  • While there are more people at work with mental health conditions than ever before, 300,000 people with a long term mental health problem lose their jobs each year, and at a much higher rate than those with physical health conditions.

These costs could be cut be 30% by improving the management of mental health in the workplace.  Having sufficient Mental Health First Aiders is a key step to achieving these savings.

The return on investment of workplace mental health interventions is overwhelmingly positive, with an average return on investment (RoI) of 4:1 and up to 9:1 when a suite of holistic interventions are employed.

Independent research and evaluation shows that taking part in an MHFA course:

  • Raises awareness around mental health.
  • Reduces stigma around mental ill health.
  • Increases confidence when guiding people towards appropriate support.
  • Accelerates early intervention around mental health issues.
  • Encourages approaches to a person who may be experiencing a mental health issue.

Embracing MHFA is considered best practice by the Health & Safety Executive and it is looking like it will become a mandatory requirement for UK companies in the near futur

Finally, learning the skills to support others who are experiencing a mental health issue is surely a positive step towards nurturing a more compassionate, caring, inclusive world.  Sadly, mental health doesn’t get anything like as much focus and funding as physical health, but I believe they are equally important.  I find MHFA to be a really powerful and inspiring course.  We all have mental health and most of us will have to deal with mental health issues at some point in our lives – whether that be our own challenges or those of a friend, family member or colleague.

Farmer, P. and Stevenson, D. (2017). Thriving at Work: The Independent Review of Mental Health and Employers. [online] Thriving at Work.  Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/658145/thriving-at-work-stevenson-farmer-review.pdf

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