This November we’re celebrating the 15th anniversary of Mental Health First Aid training being introduced to England*.

We have now trained 1 in 45 adults in England in mental health knowledge, awareness, and skills bringing us closer to reaching our mission of training 1 in 10. Over 835,500 people have been trained in mental health knowledge, awareness, and skills in the last 15 years. In total we have trained over 550,000 individual Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAiders®):

  • Over 450,000 Adult MHFAiders®
  • Over 19,000 Armed Forces MHFAiders®
  • Over 90,000 Youth MHFAiders®

We want to thank everyone from our Instructor Members to our clients and partners, MHFAiders®, MHFA England staff past and present, and all who have worked with us in support of our vision of improving the mental health of the nation. Mental Health First Aid isn’t just a course, it’s a community, and the last 15 years are a testament to that.

We have come a long way since 2007 and the mental health landscape has changed enormously. Great strides have been made to tackle the stigma associated with mental ill health, and more and more of us have the confidence to talk freely about mental health and seek support if we need it.

This anniversary marks an important stage in our journey as we, and many others, have had to adapt to a shifting world of work and greater need for mental health support. The pandemic exacerbated existing inequalities in our society and created new ones, these are now being compounded further by the rising cost of living.

These pressures have demanded more from MHFAiders®, who provide a pillar of mental health and wellbeing support in workplaces across the UK. That’s why we developed our new Mental Health First Aid course and the new support and benefits to help MHFAiders® carry out their roles with confidence.

Learn about our new course and MHFAider® support and benefits

Speaking about the anniversary, Adah Parris, Chair, MHFA England said,

I am proud of all we have achieved, especially during such turbulent times. Both as an organisation and as individuals, we believe in something bigger than ourselves. Good mental health is a social justice issue, and to support ourselves and each other we need to take a holistic approach to mental health awareness and intervention.

As a social enterprise, it is an honour to be trusted by so many learners and workplaces to deliver training so we can all talk freely about mental health and seek support when needed. As we move closer to our mission of training 1 in 10 of the population, I know that MHFA England and our community will continue to improve the mental health of the nation. 

You can read more from Adah in our 2020-2022 Impact Report which features our latest achievements as a social enterprise as we celebrate 15 years, and look forward to 15 more.

Download our 2022 Impact Report

*The Mental Health First Aid programme began in Australia in 2000. It has since evolved into a global movement that is delivered by an active community of licensed providers in 24 countries. There are now over 5 million MHFAiders® worldwide. Based in Australia, MHFA International is a not-for-profit organisation that develops, delivers and evaluates accredited mental health training programmes.

Mental Health First Aid training first came to England in 2007. The Department of Health: National Institute of Mental Health in England (NIMHE) developed and launched the programme as part of a national approach to improve public mental health. This was quickly followed, two years later, by the official launch of Mental Health First Aid England, the social enterprise that we are today.