10 July 2019

Acacia Training and MHFA England seek change with two-day mental health first aid course

Did you know one in four people experience a diagnosable mental health condition each year? Take a second to think about that. That’s about a quarter of our population who need the right support – and yet, about 70% of people with a mental illness receive no treatment at all*.

Acacia Training and Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA) want to change that. Most workplaces have someone with first aid training, but what about mental health first aid? Poor mental health costs us productivity, relationships, self-esteem – and lives. In 2017 there were 5,487 suicides in Great Britain, which means more than 15 people per day took their life. That’s just the people who succeeded.

Together with MHFA England, we want to drive those statistics down, because behind each one is a life and friends and family. We offer MHFA England approved training for your staff, to educate people that they can speak freely about mental health and get help when they need it the most.

Our two-day MHFA course:

  • Encourages people to challenge the language we use around mental health
  • Helps people to understand what good mental health looks like
  • Explores our frame of reference and the stigma attached to mental health, from both personal and societal perspectives
  • Explores the factors that can have an impact on your mental health
  • Looks at how you can support yourself and others with self-care, giving people skills to influence their own mental health and help prevent mental ill health
  • Teaches how to intervene (including in a crisis), reassure and signpost to further support
  • Teaches about diagnosable mental health conditions, what unwell looks like and how to spot these signs in yourself or others
  • Talks about what to do if you think someone is unwell and the steps to take for early intervention
  • Talks about recovery from mental illness and looking forward

Do Mental Health First Aid England training courses make a difference?

Data from MHFA England’s recently published first impact report showed people rated their confidence in supporting others with a mental health issue as 4.80 out of 10 before the training; after the training this increased to 8.27. In scoring their knowledge and understanding before the course, the average was 4.54 out of 10; this increased to 8.45 after the training. Overall, 98.5% of people rated the course as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. MHFA England has now trained over 400,000 people this year so far!

Most adults spend at least a third of their time at work and in the UK and mental ill health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costs employers £34.9 billion each year*. For more information about our courses click here.

*Information taken from MHFA England’s first impact report 2018-2019.

Did you know we also offer Youth Mental Health First Aid courses?

To become a youth mental health first aider you must complete a two-day YMHFA course. This course includes a mix of presentations, discussions and group work activities. When you have completed the course, you will receive a certificate to confirm that you are a trained Youth Mental Health First Aider.

By taking the course you will gain:

  • An in depth understanding of young people’s mental health and factors that affect wellbeing
  • Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues
  • Confidence to reassure and support a young person in distress
  • Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening
  • Knowledge to help a young person recover their health by guiding them to further support – whether that’s through self-help sites, their place of learning, the NHS, or a mix – engaging with parents, carers and external agencies where appropriate
  • Ability to support a young person with a long-term mental health issue or disability to thrive
  • Tools to look after your own mental wellbeing

For more information on Youth Mental Health First Aid courses click here.

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