To mark World Mental Health Day, it was announced today that the Department of Health (DoH) and Public Health England (PHE) will launch an online campaign to train one million people in basic mental health ‘first aid’ skills – following on from a commitment made in the Conservative manifesto in May this year.

Poppy Jaman, CEO, MHFA England responded to the announcement and said:

“We are delighted to be working with PHE on this ground breaking mental health literacy campaign.  Educating people how to look after their own mental health, encourage the same in others and be able to spot the early signs and symptoms of mental health issues is a powerful preventative approach and crucially it also encourages early intervention. Giving people the knowledge and therefore confidence around how to support themselves or others to get the help they need is a vital first step to creating a society where mental health is treated equally to physical health. Training one million people in Mental Health First Aid skills will move us much closer to being able to achieve this goal.”

The campaign itself will run from the autumn of 2018, until March 2021, and aims to give people the skills and confidence to support both their own and other’s mental health. Specifically, the campaign will help people to learn techniques to reduce stress and improve their emotional resilience and improve knowledge, confidence and skills in supporting someone experiencing a mental health issue.

MHFA England will work with PHE and other mental health organisations over the coming months to help develop this campaign, which will build on the knowledge and experience of the whole mental health community.