In this newsletter:
It hardly seems a week since the clocks went forward and now, I shiver in anticipation as we race towards the end of October and the clocks go back. Short days or long days, there is no stopping the MHFA England community!
Many of you will be particularly busy at the moment with World Mental Health Day. The theme this year is suicide. It was in part my own experience of losing a dear friend to suicide that motivated me to apply to be CEO of MHFA England. I only wish I had the knowledge and skills then, that I do now.
That is why I know the work we do saves lives and changes lives. We have trained hundreds of thousands of people in England in mental health knowledge and skills which is amazing – it means we are currently at 1 in 90, en route to our overall mission of training 1 in 10 in the adult population and ensuring they have an unshakeable belief that we must tackle stigma.
Thanks again for all your work to improve the mental health of the nation. I hope you have a successful and rewarding autumn period.
All the best,
Simon Blake OBE
Today is World Mental Health Day, and we are very excited to share with you a new free tool for everyone’s mental health, Every Mind Matters.
Packed with expert advice and practical tips to achieve good mental health, Every Mind Matters is Public Health England’s first national mental health campaign. The Every Mind Matters tool includes self-care actions and signposts to free NHS and partner approved mental health resources. It will create a tailored plan to help you:
If you are a Mental Health First Aider or MHFA Champion the tool will be an excellent resource to help you manage your own mental health and signpost the people you are supporting.
Head to mhfaengland.org/every-mind-matters to explore the new Every Mind Matters tool, create your own self-care plan, and see the celebrities who are supporting Every Mind Matters. On that page, you will also find resources to share and promote the tool in your community or at work, including:
We’re proud to have been an informing partner in developing the Every Mind Matters self-care tool and to have helped with the pilot in the West Midlands. We are very excited about the scope it has to improve the mental health of the nation.
Find out more about Every Mind Matters and who’s backing it in this three minute video.
Founder of Pjoys and MHFA England Instructor Member, Michelle Morgan, paid our central team a visit this World Mental Health Day to tell us more about Pjoys and her experience of mental health.
Pjoys was set up by Michelle a few years ago in response to her personal experience of mental health. She uses the symbolism of ‘PJ Days’ to help break down stigma and make mental health part of everyday conversations.
We will also be taking part in the Where's Your Head At Social Media Blackout.
From 1-2pm the MHFA England team will step away from their smartphones, switch off social media, engage in some conversation, and get some headspace - all to celebrate #WorldMentalHealthDay.
This follows research commissioned by Where’s Your Head At? around the impact of social media on mental health that has revealed:
Join in from 1-2pm, step away and have a natter with a colleague, or have a mindful headspace session, and see what it does for your wellbeing.
This September and October we attended the party conferences of the three biggest UK political parties, both to provide on-site mental health first aid support, and to promote the Where’s Your Head At? Workplace Manifesto.
At each conference, we ran a fringe event to explore how employers and the UK economy can improve approaches to mental health in the workplace.
Over 50 MPs signed the WYHA? Workplace Manifesto at the conferences and our fringe events were very well attended. At the Liberal Democrat conference, we took home the award for Best Charity/NGO stand.
This is an exciting step forward in our work towards equality between physical and mental health in the workplace and beyond. Visit mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/blog/conferences-highlights to see our highlights from the conferences.
On 4 September we launched the new Adult MHFA Refresher course.
Just like physical first aid, we recommend that Mental Health First Aiders and MHFA Champions update their skills and knowledge every three years. If it's time to refresh your skills, visit mhfaengland.org/individuals/adult/refresher to book now - and feel confident that you are performing your vital role safely.
The four hour Adult MHFA Refresher course will empower you to:
We are working towards Mental Health First Aid training becoming mandatory in the workplace in the same way as physical first aid. Current legislation requires physical first aid skills to be refreshed regularly and so the MHFA Refresher course is a vital step towards equality between physical and mental health.
We’re excited to be working with FOW Insights on two great upcoming events:
On 6 November we will be hosting a roundtable at their Wellbeing@Work event in London, focussing on creating and maintaining a mentally healthy workplace. If you're interested in attending, you can get 30% off your booking by entering MHFA30 when you book.
We are also pleased to be sponsoring the Mental Health First Aid Award at the Inside Out Awards. There are categories for both employers and individuals in the workplace so we warmly invite all our clients, Instructor Members, and Mental Health First Aider network to consider their eligibility. You can find out further details about entering at fowinsights.com/event/insideoutawards. Entries close on 30 November.
The #21by21 campaign, championing better mental health awareness in sport and physical activity, continues to build support across the sport for development sector. The campaign is being coordinated by the Sport for Development Coalition and 11 key partners, with London Youth the most recent addition
A number of the campaign partners have joined forces to pledge to provide 21,000 community sports coaches and volunteers with mental health awareness training by 2021. Good progress is being made towards the target with 4,329 people trained to date
Find out about more about the campaign and youth and adult mental health awareness training courses delivered by the campaign partners, and access reports, case studies, toolkits and programmes about mental wellbeing and sport go to 21by21.info.
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