Mental Health First Aid


Front line workers in Wales often have to deal with people with experience of mental distress but lack the skills and confidence to support them appropriately.

With one in four of us affected by mental health problems each year, service providers across Wales are being offered a new short training course to deal more effectively with these challenges.

What is Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)?

MHFA is a 12 hour training course that improves mental health literacy and helps people to recognise the signs and symptoms of someone with a mental health problem and/or someone who might benefit from some help and support. It gives us some practical tools and techniques so that we feel more confident in responding to various mental health crises and to individuals who may show signs of distress. MHFA encourages us to engage with, support and signpost people to appropriate professional help and support, as well as exploring some self-help techniques.

Who’s it for?

MHFA (Wales) is for everybody and is particularly relevant for those who are likely to come into contact with those at risk of experiencing mental distress such as police, community workers, employers, managers, especially frontline staff in local authorities and housing, further education staff, NHS staff, employment agency staff, prison and custody staff, Jobcentre Plus staff and family members.

Why Train in Mental Health First Aid?

This course is designed for everyone. It is interesting and varied and most participants tell us that they enjoyed it very much.

There are many reasons why people might want to train in Mental Health First Aid MHFA (Wales):

  •  Mental health problems are common, especially depression, anxiety and misuse of alcohol and other drugs. One person in four will experience some form of problem with their mental health in the course of a year.
  • There is a stigma associated with mental health problems. This may hinder people from seeking help. People are often ashamed to discuss mental health problems with family, friends and work colleagues. They may also be reluctant to seek help and support for such problems because of their concerns about what others will think of them.
  • Many people are not well informed. Understanding how to recognise mental health problems and what effective treatments are available is not widespread. With greater community awareness, people will be able to recognise their own and others’ problems and feel more comfortable about seeking assistance.
  • Help is not always on hand. GPs, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists can all assist people with mental health problems. However, just as with accidents and medical emergencies, such assistance is not always available when a problem first arises. This is when members of the public can offer immediate aid and support the person to get appropriate help.
  •  People may lack the insight to realise they need help or that help is available. Some mental health problems cloud clear thinking and good decision-making. A person experiencing such problems may not realise that they need help or that effective help is available for them or be in such a state of distress and not be able to think clearly about what they should do. Members of the general public often do not know how to respond. In a mental health crisis situation, the helper’s actions may determine how quickly the person with the problem gets help and/or recovers. In MHFA (Wales), they learn an approach to help to be calm and confident and to respond in an appropriate way to give the best help.

Mental Health problems are not as frightening as most people think.
When a person has a mental health problem what they need most is someone who can:

  • listen calmly to their feelings and fears
  • give some simple information
  • tell them where to get appropriate help

What is in the 12 hour MHFA Course?

The course will teach you to:

• Give initial help to someone experiencing a mental health problem
• Deal with a crisis situation or the first signs of someone developing mental ill health
• Guide people towards appropriate help.

The course is delivered over 2 full days (preferably consecutive). Participants will receive a certificate of attendance and a copy of the 154 paged evidence based MHFA (Wales) Manual, which covers the course content. Participants who complete the course will also have the opportunity to join, free of charge, their local MHFA Community Support Groups (CSG’s) where they can benefit from exclusive member benefits such as access to the MHFA CSG’s resources website and local network of MHFAiders.

In short

Mental Health First Aid is a 12 hour training course that improves mental health literacy and helps people to recognise the signs and symptoms of someone with mental health problems; to respond to various mental health crises, engage with, support and signpost people to appropriate help.

The current price for Mental Health First Aid training is £150 per delegate but as before we would offer this course with a significant reduction in price if the course was in-house.

The price for an in-house course would differ as to how many participants were involved and consequently how many trainers needed.

 Course Dates

The next course date is 5th and 6th of October 2016. Please complete this Booking Form to register your place.

For more information on Mental Health First Aid please email or phone 01970 626 225 and ask for Bethan Roberts or Tim Bennett.