As we come towards the end of Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, I want to take the opportunity to thank the talented Instructor Member Community and Central Team at Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, all of whom believe mental health is an important issue of fairness and justice.

It has been an extraordinary week, one where we have seen our community and the wider sector, come together to shine a spotlight on mental health. We are extremely grateful to the Mental Health Foundation for establishing this week in 2001.

The launch of the ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ Workplace Manifesto - a call for employers and MPs to lay down their commitment to workplace wellbeing – has been incredible. We have been blown away by the support, with over 400 sign-ups from the mental health sector, businesses and MPs in the first few days alone.

The take up from employers and individuals for our #EmpowerHalfHour initiative has also been phenomenal. It has been a pleasure to see how people have been adapting the activities into their weeks. Thank you for all your efforts in making both these things such a success.

Clearly mental health is not a week-long issue but one that demands attention 52 weeks a year. Since being appointed Chief Executive, I have been endlessly impressed by the skills and talents of the Instructor Member and staff community. In the last month alone, they have enabled over 17,000 people to be trained in MHFA England courses.  

Coming from a range of personal, social and employment backgrounds, our network of over 1800 Instructor Members use their lived and professional experience day in, day out to deliver and support MHFA England training. Together they help promote a better understanding of mental health and play a significant role in challenging the stigma.

Working alongside activists, campaigners, educators and service providers, we are filled with hope, optimism and determination for a better and more inclusive society. We want to help build an unshakeable belief in the importance of mental health; ultimately eradicating stigma and enabling us all to look after ourselves and each other and ensuring that everybody gets the help, support and treatment they need.

We have a long way to go before there is truly equity between mental and physical health. On this journey, we will continue to explore and create more inclusive and creative ways to play, learn and work together. Thank you again for all your hard work, support and efforts this week and every week.