MHFA England

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England's Instructor Training programme

MHFA England training 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 colleagues in the workplace, young people, students and staff in higher education and 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. RSPH also accredits MHFA England’s Online Instructor Training programme which provides the same learning and development delivered remotely.

Once approved, instructors deliver MHFA England courses within their workplace or independently. More information can be found on the MHFA England website.



Over 4 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

24 countries

and counting

How and why RSPH accredited the training programme

Excellent training for MHFA England instructors is essential to the success of this much needed work and RSPH has accredited the Instructor Training programmes for 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 England 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.