Welcome to the latest Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England newsletter.
I continue to feel deeply proud to belong to a network of people who have the knowledge and skills to help support the mental health of a nation going through crisis. It has never been more important, and so thank you for everything you are doing to support your communities – through the workplace and beyond.
You may be interested in our latest community blog which contains tips on how Mental Health First Aiders and those with mental health knowledge and skills are giving this support. The suggestions are powerful reminders of the rich work that is going on. They also serve as a great prompt to look after our own mental health during these extraordinary times.
Mental Health Awareness Week later this month will shine a light on kindness and we would love to hear your stories around this theme. 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. Please consider sharing your stories of kindness with us. Find out more information on this here.
I’m excited by the recent launch of our website home page, which showcases a number of courses now available for online delivery. Please do take a look, whether you’re hoping to refresh, upskill or share within your organisations.
We continue to update our resources to support mental health whether its through working remotely and or just coping with living in uncertain times. We hope you find these useful for supporting your own mental health, as well as sharing with anyone you might be supporting.
While our lives are surrounded by a backdrop of uncertainty and challenge, we can be certain that our skills and knowledge will continue to help those in need around us. Thank you for all you continue to do and please take good care.
Simon Blake OBE
New online courses
We have made huge progress in adapting our training courses so they can be accessed remotely, either through online instructor delivery or with digital only content. Take a look at the new home page on our website, which now provides details on all these courses and booking details.
We are now registering early interest for a new Online Mental Health First Aid course, recently approved for a virtual platform and adapted from the MHFA England licensed Two Day face to face course.
We are registering interest for our Mental Health Knowledge for Managers, a digital modular based course designed to empower your managers to support the mental health of their staff. This is currently suitable for organisations of 50 Line Managers or more.
We can now also offer remote delivery of our Mental Health Aware and Mental Health First Aid Refresher courses to keep Mental Health First Aiders up to date with their knowledge and skills.
Share your stories of kindness
In advance of Mental Health Awareness Week later this month (18-24 May), focusing on kindness, we want to hear from Mental Health First Aiders who would be willing to be quoted in the media about how they have been supporting their colleagues, friends and family over the past few weeks.
We’ve been inspired by the kindness demonstrated throughout this period and would love to share your amazing stories to support Mental Health Awareness Week and highlight the support Mental Health First Aiders are providing to their local communities during this challenging time.
If you would like reflect on an act of kindness, share your story and are happy to be contacted, please email firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line ‘Share my story’.
To see an example of how your story could be used, please take a look at our latest Community Blog.
New and updated online resources
You may be providing Mental Health First Aid support remotely to friends, family, colleagues and within your own community – as well as looking after your own mental health. To help, we have brought together a range of new and updated resources.
Last month MHFA England joined forces with Samaritans, Hospice UK and Shout to encourage our Instructor Members to volunteer and sign up for NHS Frontline, the new mental health support service for healthcare staff during the coronavirus pandemic.
We have had a fantastic response, and at the time of writing MHFA England has been the largest sole provider of volunteers with 176 Instructor Members signing up. Many thanks to those of you who may also be volunteering during this crisis.
The podcast, which has recently been nominated for two awards at the Mental Health Blog Awards, looks at the future of mental health through conversations with our Chief Executive Simon Blake and a fantastic range of guests. Throughout the discussions on their lived experiences, passions, and latest projects, they try and answer the question; how can we create a world where everyone is coping?
Although series two has now come to an end, you can still download and listen to all previous episodes – and you may also like to share this with your network as a contribution to the important conversation about mental health.
We would also love your feedback, so please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Thank you!
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.