why mental health first aid

What is Mental Health First Aid?

What is Mental Health First Aid?

At last, Mental Health is now getting the recognition it deserves. Businesses, organisations, schools and families increasingly acknowledge the value of caring for the mental health of employees, co-workers and loved-ones.

Mental Health First Aid is the ability to:

  • spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill-health
  • act appropriately and promptly to mitigate its effects
  • signpost the individual for expert help


In the UK, 20.6% of the population have had suicidal thoughts at some time. 6.7% have attamepted suicide.

7.3% of the population have self-harmed.

Why Mental Health First Aid?

Do you have experience of the impact that mental health problems can have on an individual and those around them – friends, family, and colleagues? If you have, you’ll understand how profound the problem can be.

Today, employers have a legal responsibility to look after the physical and mental health & safety of their employees. They also have a moral responsibility. Society expects businesses to oversee the mental welfare of their most valuable asset – their people.

Of course, poor mental health has a financial impact too; poor performance – high absenteeism – low morale.
For all these reasons, businesses now regard MHFA as an essential, simple and cost-effective policy to implement.

With restrictions in place owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, online Mental Health First Aid courses are a convenient way of obtaining the skills to reduce stigma, and support others.

Read more on the topic  –  Why Invest in Mental Health First Aid?

How Do We Know Mental Health First Aid Works?

MHFA England works hard to ensure that their courses are evidence-based, and states:

We believe MHFA training works as one part of a joined-up mental healthcare system. Each of our courses is based on research and developed by mental health experts with input from people with lived experience of mental ill-health

MHFA England recently announced the launch of the EMPOWER study – a joint project led by the Centre for Mental Health and London South Bank University. The aim? To evaluate the impact of MHFA interventions in the workplace.

A previous report by the Centre for Mental Health claimed that effective mental health programmes can reduce the cost to employers by 30%.  At the time of the report, this equated to saving British businesses £8 billion a year.

Take a look at our information for employers, to help discover the benefits of MHFA.