Welcome to your December (MHFA) England newsletter. MHFA England, like any organisation, has faced an extraordinary 2020. It has been far from business as usual. The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to quickly develop new ways of working.
Despite the challenges, we have trained over 45,000 people in mental health knowledge and skills. From the rapid digital transformation of our training, to the success of the My Whole Self campaign and our commitment to becoming an anti-racist organisation, I am thankful for everyone’s enduring hard work and commitment.
As I reflect on the past 12 months, there has arguably never been a greater need for our work to improve the mental health of the nation. I am deeply grateful to the entire MHFA England community, who have played a key part in allowing us to move closer to our mission of training one in ten people in mental health and awareness skills, despite the challenges brought about by coronavirus.
As we come to the end of the year, it’s important to reflect on all that we have done to work towards a future where everyone’s mental health matters. Furthermore, with the festive season approaching, please remember to practise self-care, be kind to one another, and prioritise your own mental health as well as supporting others’.
I hope you are all able to take some time to relax and re-charge over the Christmas break, and I look forward to seeing what our community will continue to achieve in 2021.
CEO, MHFA England
Mental Health First Aid England
In addition to the transition of our training from face-to-face to online, the pandemic has impacted other areas of our work as a social enterprise. Just days before the launch of our new campaign, My Whole Self, we learnt the country was going into a national lockdown. Launching My Whole Self Day on 18 March suddenly felt impossible, but within a week, we adapted our campaign resources and activities, focusing them on staying connected and maintaining wellbeing whilst working remotely.
Our work in supporting the NHS continues. We are delivering mental health training at over 60 NHS Trusts at specialist rates to make sure our frontline workers are supported. We’ve also trained hundreds of volunteers on the NHS Check and Chat programme and we have been able to turn to our Instructor Members for their support too.An incredible 300 volunteered to support Our Frontline, the mental health support service for NHS and care workers. We would like to thank everyone who has given up their time to support the people caring for others.
2020 saw the launch of our My Whole Self campaign. It aimed to shine a light on the link between our diverse identities, our experiences of belonging, and workplace mental health. We believe this is central to creating healthier workplace cultures where mental health is protected and nourished.This year, we put together resources on ‘Staying Connected’ and ‘Becoming an anti-racist organisation’ to help organisations support employees to be their whole self. Thousands of you have downloaded these resources so far.
We are delighted to be working in partnership with the National Centre for Suicide Prevention, Education and Training (NCSPET) to deliver the Suicide First Aid (SFA) Associate Tutor Training and Development Programme.We are aiming to train at least 200 people in 2021, extending the reach of vital suicide prevention skills. We have been working with the NCSPET to recruit and train a team of SFA National Tutors who will lead in delivering the programme. The SFA National Tutor team will be managed and supported by MHFA England and will lead this exciting new venture in collaboration with colleagues at the NCSPET.
This year, we have hosted a series of webinars exploring various themes around workplace mental health and wellbeing. You can view recordings of all our past webinars here.
Many are starting to think about their plans for mental health and wellbeing in the workplace in 2021. MHFA England offers a range of online mental health training courses to help you manage your own and your employees’ mental health.
If you want to find out more about creating work environments where everyone can thrive, please contact our workplace team to discuss your 2021 wellbeing strategy.