Mental Health First Aid has been around for over 20 years now, and MHFA England is part of an international community of organisations delivering the training across the globe.
The course is periodically reviewed and updated to make sure it is meeting the expectations of learners. The latest update to the course launches today – and brings a fresh approach, and also a new offer including ongoing support and community to Mental Health First Aiders (or MHFAiders®).
The course centres more solidly on the role of the MHFAider®, giving opportunities to practice offering support using the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan to guide conversations through empathetic active listening to signposting and self care. It also give space to consider the boundaries which are essential to the MHFAider® role, for purposes of safeguarding and self protection.
Recognising signs that someone might be experiencing poor mental health is still a key skill for MHFAiders®, so there is discussion of a range of mental health conditions, and also a good grounding in understanding mental health and the importance of self care for all to maintain positive wellbeing.
The course is now structured so it can be delivered in the same format whether face to face or online. There are four sessions – which can be delivered over a period of from two days to four weeks – however the recommended optimal learning experience is that online course sessions should be on different days, and all sessions be completed within two weeks.
I will be continuing to focus my open courses on online delivery for the time being – however I can offer both online and face to face training if you are looking to book a course for your workplace or organisation.
Once you complete the course you get a digital MHFAider® certificate, and badge to use on your emails etc. Your certification still lasts three years, at which point you are required to undertake a half day refresher course. However in the mean time, you now also have additional support available to you.
The MHFAider Support App® offers mental health information, a secure place to log reflections about conversations – reminders to check back with people we are supporting and so on. There is also a dedicated support service offered for MHFAiders by the SHOUT Crisis text line service.
You will have ongoing access to your digital manual on the online learning hub – where you can connect with the wider community of MHFAiders® in England – and access ongoing learning opportunities from MHFA England.
I’m excited to be delivering my first new course from next week – I’ll come back to tell you how I find it. We have all been working very hard to familiarise ourselves with the new content, and the development work has been ongoing for well over a year.
I’m in the process of listing open course dates – I’m trying to offer a mix of short and long stretch courses as I know people have different requirements. However if you don’t find something to suit you, please get in touch and I will see what I can do – or signpost you to another instructor who can help.
Costings for the course have changed slightly – to reflect the enhanced support offer. MHFA England value the course at £325 per person.
As ever* I will try to make the course as accessible as possible by offering discounts to those on reduced budgets, eg. charities, non-profits, people in receipt of benefits or on low income. Please contact me to discuss if you are eligible. If you are not eligible, then I still offer the option of Early Booking incentives – as this helps me to plan and manage workload – so look for courses more than one month in advance. On the other hand I encourage you to pay the highest rate you are able, as this enables me to offer the other rates to those who need them. I subsidise this myself – rather than through any funding.
If you have any questions, please get in touch. We can discuss your requirements, and see whether this course, or another, best suits your needs.