Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England and St John Ambulance came together this week at a special event held in central London to celebrate a joint vision of delivering MHFA England training.
Executive teams from both organisations gathered to mark the signing of a new treaty setting out commitments to equipping the English population with the skills to look after their own and others’ mental health.
Speaking at the event, Professor Mark Watson-Gandy, Chair of MHFA England said:
“Today marks the signing of treaty between St John Ambulance and Mental Health First Aid England, this country's two preeminent first aid providers, respectively in the fields of physical and mental health first aid.
“12 years ago Mental Health First Aid was brought to England, the concept having been born in Australia in the year 2000. To date, we can report that nearly half a million people have been trained in Mental Health First Aid skills in England.
"This moves us closer to our mission of training one in ten in life improving and life-saving skills – just as physical first aid has done for hundreds of years.”
The treaty includes commitments to achieve equality in physical and mental health first aid provision and to work collaboratively to train one in ten adults in MHFA England skills.
Chief Executive of St John Ambulance, Martin Houghton-Brown said:
"This exciting treaty with Mental Health First Aid England commits St John to further developing our understanding of first aid. For over 140 years we have cared for the physical consequences of incidents and accidents as the nation’s first aiders. Now we better understand how important it is to care for both body and mind, we can respond even more effectively.
Together we can make a significant difference by providing even more people in their workplaces and communities with the skills they need to respond to a health crisis and help support our NHS in the face of our generation’s health challenges.”