RSPH is pleased to announce that it has renewed its accreditation of the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Instructor training programme led by MHFA England CIC.

MHFA is an international movement initiated in Australia in 2003, currently active in 21 countries. Established in 2007 under the Department of Health, MHFA England became an independent Community Interest Company in September 2009. As the only evidence based mental health training organisation in England, it reaches out to the whole country via its network of 700 instructors who have trained over 55,000 MHFAiders and 17,000 Youth MHFAiders across England to date, whilst continually developing and quality assuring its courses.

The MHFA Instructor programme teaches instructors to deliver a 2-day skills development course that increases mental health literacy and breaks down stigma. The course develops participants’ confidence and ability to recognise the early signs and symptoms of common mental health problems and apply mental health first aid, a simple but effective skill to support someone in distress.

The RSPH is also extending – for the first time – its accreditation to the Youth MHFA Instructor training which is an internationally recognised programme designed specifically for those people who teach, work, live with – or care for – young people aged 11 - 18.

Says Poppy Jaman, CEO of MHFA England: “We are very proud to have maintained the respected RSPH accreditation for our Adult Instructor training programme and achieved this distinction for the Youth MHFA programme. This quality mark sets a high standard for MHFA England CIC and ensures that every instructor trained is personally and professionally contributing to the positive mental health of our nation in a skilful way.”

The RSPH’s accreditation scheme endorses training programmes that promote and support communities’ health and wellbeing. Both MHFA training programmes have undergone an expert review, assessing how effectively they prepare facilitators to teach how to give mental health support before professional help is obtained.

RSPH chief executive, Shirley Cramer, CBE, comments: “The MHFA and Youth MHFA instructor courses provide excellent training for health professionals and community health champions delivering MHFA in the community. The RSPH Accreditation process is a rigorous one and its achievement is a clear demonstration of the high quality and commitment to promoting mental health in the community. I would like congratulate all those involved in achieving this recognition.”