Online Mental Health First Aid

What a whirlwind couple of months! If it has taught me anything it is that plans mean nothing, that order can come from chaos, and that we as human beings are capable of great things when we work together.

So many tumultuous changes and challenges going on in the world right now. Something to come back to another day – but here I wanted to tell you about some of the changes that this momentous period has brought about in my world of work.

Mental Health First Aid training is usually delivered face to face, in small meeting rooms, with a good amount of close discussion and interaction. Which is great – but a perfect place for viruses to jump from host to host, and not easily adaptable to comply with social distancing.

So the good people at MHFA England have been working their wonderful socks off to develop a version which can be delivered and studied online, which is now just about ready to go. All across the country, MHFA England Instructor members like myself are busy completing the upskill required to be able to deliver this course and getting to grips with the new platform and logistics requirements.

The course isn’t exactly the same as the face to face two day version – but it has the same learning outcomes for the delegate. And lets face it two days of zoom covering heavy content is unlikely to help the mental health of any of us.

So – instead, this course is made of a combination of independent learning (videos, activities, reading) – and live session teaching with your Accredited MHFA Instructor to cement, supplement and build upon that learning. There are four sessions, to be delivered over the course of a longer period of time, say a fortnight or a month, with the independent learning to be completed prior to each session. You get the support of your instructor throughout, and the same eCertificate, and excellent learning materials as with the face to face course.

The course is delivered via a new Online Learning Hub – hosted on the Enabley Platform (which works best on Google Chrome).

The course is valued by MHFA England at the same price as the two day version, £300 (+VAT where applicable) – However, I, and many other instructors offer at discounted or subsidised rates where possible. (See below)

I have set up three open courses so far to run in July, and will set further dates soon – so if you have any requests / preferences for days or times please let me know and I’ll see what I can do. Happily – this new option allows for great flexibility in terms of when I can teach – so we have evenings and weekends open to us now as well as through the working week, which might be helpful for those of you wishing to learn independent of your work.

See current courses here on Eventbrite

(If you are an organisation looking to set up a course / courses for your staff or members, please contact me for a quote which is usually more economical than the per person rates below.)

I have a range of prices to suit your circumstances. If you are able to pay the full price, you are most welcome to do so, it has after all been a difficult year so far and I could certainly do with the support. However I also offer two usual standard rate discounts – £150 for individuals, £200 for employers. These rates are at your discretion – I simply ask if you are an employer booking for work, or for your staff and you are able to afford it, that you choose the £200 rate rather than the £150. The more people are able to pay the higher rates, the more I can offer lower rates to those who need it.

If you are a charity, or on benefits etc – please contact me with your circumstances and I can offer a further discount.

I am also offering a number of extra special COVID-19 thank you rate places, for people working in the NHS or Social Care – of £25 only. This covers the cost of materials. My teaching is my gift to you for caring for our vulnerable loved ones and putting yourselves at risk while I have been able to stay relatively safe at home.

I’ll do another more concise post to advertise the actual courses, but I wanted to put a bit more detail out there. I can also offer the half day Mental Health Aware, and MHFA Refresher courses via Zoom.

It’s been a busy old month or two, scary and exciting to be learning and using new skills. I’m looking forward to this new venture. There are pros and cons to online versus face to face, but the pros definitely include flexibility, – I can imagine it will be easier for some to find a few hours a week to free up staff, where two days was impossible. There are also savings in terms of travel costs and time (for both myself and clients – especially where attendees might come from across the country to one location).

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