Welcome to a special edition newsletter from Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England – with news that we just couldn’t wait another month to share with you.
In this special edition I want to continue celebrating the impressive work that our community is doing to improve the mental health of the nation and I am incredibly proud to announce the launch of our Online Mental Health First Aid course.
We offer the only evidence-based internationally accredited Mental Health First Aid course in England and we have adapted this course to be suitable for online delivery – with our trusted Instructor Members now skilled to deliver a course to anyone who is working remotely or unable to attend face to face training. Please do share this news amongst your networks and if you haven’t done a Mental Health First Aid course, perhaps now is the time consider joining our ever-growing community of Mental Health First Aiders.
As part of our social purpose we have also been looking at the different ways we can support the NHS in these challenging times and we’ve had an incredible response from our community for volunteering for the NHS Frontline mental health support service. Thank you to everyone who is giving their valuable time to supporting the people caring for others.
In our last edition we asked you to share your stories of kindness for Mental Health Awareness Week. We are truly inspired, and I continue to be humbled by the acts of kindness which mean so much in these difficult times.
Thank you for all you continue to do and please take good care.
Simon Blake OBE,
Mental Health First Aid England
If you haven’t already, now is the time to join a community of over half a million people trained in MHFA England knowledge and skills. Our new Online Mental Health First Aid course is available to book now.
Mental Health First Aid is the only evidence-based, internationally accredited mental health course which certifies you as a Mental Health First Aider. This online version of the course provides a platform for an inclusive learning experience and flexibility on delivery over a time period that suits you.
Online Mental Health First Aid includes a blended approach of individual learning and four instructor-led live sessions delivered by certified and trusted MHFA England Instructor Members. This provides an accessible format, hosted on our new Online Learning Hub.
You will learn invaluable skills, increase your knowledge and confidence to support your own and other people's mental health, both remotely and face to face. Book now at mhfaengland.org/individuals/adult/2-day.
Do you want to increase your own or others' general mental health awareness? In these challenging times we know we know that evidence-based approaches to protecting and promoting mental health are more important than ever.
Mental Health Aware is a short half day introductory course which can be delivered quickly and online by our trusted Instructor Members.
Keep your skills up to date! MHFA Refresher training should be taken every three years so you can be confident your Mental Health First Aid skills are kept up to date. Book your individual online MHFA Refresher course or contact our workplace team for larger corporate bookings.
Mental Health Knowledge for Managers is a digital learning experience designed to enable managers to have supportive mental health conversations with their staff and create a stigma-free culture. It is a modular course which can be delivered flexibly for the learner and deployed quickly to match an organisation’s needs. Right now we are offering a free Working from Home module to organisations who buy for 50 or more learners.
We hope this accessible new range of online courses will help you to continue to share mental health awareness, knowledge and skills across your organisation or community safely and effectively. Please also remember that there are a range of free resources available on our website, designed to support you to stay mentally healthy and also assist you in your role in supporting others.
Last month MHFA England joined forces with Samaritans, Hospice UK and Shout to encourage volunteers to sign up for NHS Frontline, the new mental health support service for healthcare staff during the coronavirus pandemic. With over 289 volunteers, we are pleased to report we continue to be the largest volunteer provider. If you are one of our volunteers, thank you for sharing your time and skills.
We have also trained over 201 NHS staff supporting the homeless community through our one-hour NHS Homeless Link course. The course was really well received and has generated some great feedback.
We are also working with the Royal Voluntary Service who are delivering the NHS Volunteer Responders initiative. MHFA England’s role is to provide training to the hundreds of Check in and Chat Plus volunteers who are supporting vulnerable people across the country with their mental health and wellbeing.
The aims of the Check in and Chat Plus programme are to reduce loneliness by having regular conversations, offer companionship, help people to identify activities and support they can access and signpost to resources which help with positive wellbeing and mental health. Our training will help prepare the Check in and Chat volunteers to carry out their role and importantly will also help them to look after their own mental health and wellbeing during this challenging time.
We asked you to share your stories of kindness for Mental Health Awareness Week last month (18-24 May). We have been inspired by the kindness demonstrated throughout this period and pleased to share these with you all:
“As a school community we have pulled together to support each other at this time. Two trained Mental Health First Aiders were given school mobile phones for staff to call if they wanted a conversation to support their wellbeing.” Melissa, Head Teacher
“I feel it’s important to share my skills as an Instructor Member. My wife is NHS frontline staff and her ‘new normal’ is inspiring, humbling and motivational. By volunteering as a SHOUT crisis volunteer, I feel I may help pay back a small part of the huge debt the nation owes our frontline workers who have stepped up during this pandemic." Ross, Instructor Member
“I have been volunteering for a community meal delivery service, which helps the isolated and vulnerable in my community. It gives me such a sense of purpose that I can offer my time to listen and give them support, as well as a hot meal and a natter.” Jan, Specialist Support Teacher
Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is the cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health. It is also what you embody as you fulfil your commitment to support the mental health of the nation. We are truly humbled by how you have been supporting your colleagues, friends and family in these challenging times.
Our team is working remotely at the moment so if you need to get in touch, please email email@example.com and we will respond as quickly as possible. Please be aware that due to COVID-19 our phone lines are currently open for reduced hours between 9am and 1.30pm Monday to Friday.