Mental Health First Aid's Instructor Training Programme
Mental Health First Aid's (MHFA) course was established to provide the non-expert with knowledge of the signs and symptoms of a range of mental health issues
Training programme details
In the same way as people are trained to provide first aid for physical illnesses and injuries, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England courses provide training for the public in how to spot signs of mental health issues and provide first aid support.
The courses provide people with skills such as non-judgemental listening and the knowledge and confidence to guide a person to appropriate sources of professional support. Such early intervention can reduce distress, help to preserve life, and empower a person experiencing mental ill health to get support for recovery.
MHFA England courses are designed for everyone and are suitable for a range of community settings and organisations across sectors. Training options include tailored courses for supporting young people, students and staff in higher education, colleagues in the workplace, and people in the Armed Forces community, as well as the general adult population.
Evaluations show that MHFA England training is associated with improved knowledge of mental health and common mental health issues, knowledge of appropriate first aid strategies, and confidence in providing first aid to individuals who may be experiencing mental ill health – benefits which are maintained over time. Some studies have also shown improved mental health in those who attend the training, decreases in stigmatising attitudes and increases in the amount of support provided to others.
The seven day MHFA England Instructor Training programme gives people the skills needed to deliver MHFA England courses. It is spread out over six weeks and includes a year of mentor support.
Once approved, instructors can deliver MHFA England courses as part of an independent training business, in their spare time, or within their workplace. More information can be found at More information can be found on the MHFA website.
Over 2.6 million
people have been trained in MHFA skills
MHFA England instructors have delivered their courses to over
people to date
MHFA training courses have evolved globally, with licensed programmes in
How and why RSPH accredited the training programme
Excellent training for MHFA instructors is essential to the success of this much needed work and RSPH has accredited the MHFA Instructor Training programmes for both the Adult, Youth and Armed Forces MHFA courses. This involved an assessment of all aspects of the programmes, from training strategy, objectives and content to an observation of training delivery.
RSPH accreditation has confirmed that the programmes achieve their objective of providing a thorough grounding in the content and delivery of the MHFA courses. Particularly impressive is the individual gap analysis which takes place to bring all instructors up to the same high standard. Also commendable is the assessment of the instructor’s competency and the ongoing mentoring they receive.