Mental Health First Aiders

What are Mental Health First Aiders?

Mental health first aiders are people trained to spot the signs and symptoms of mental health issues and provide initial support. They are not counsellors or therapists, but act as a first point of contact for someone experiencing a mental health problem or emotional distress.

How do they help?

Mental health first aiders listen non-judgementally and offer reassurance. They assess risk of harm and assist the person in finding appropriate professional help. They also promote mental health awareness and combat stigma. Their role is to provide a ‘first aid’ response to mental ill-health.

How to become a mental health first aider:

  • Undertake certified MHFA training, usually 2 days face-to-face or online.
  • Training covers topics like depression, anxiety, suicide, and psychosis.
  • You learn a 5-step action plan to support someone in distress.

Courses meet standards set by Mental Health First Aid England. Training is run by accredited providers like St John Ambulance.

What qualifications do you need?

No prior qualifications are required. The training gives you the skills and knowledge needed. However, mental health knowledge and strong interpersonal skills are beneficial.

Upon completing training you receive a certificate of attendance. You must then undergo refresher training every 3 years to keep your skills up to date. MHFA is internationally recognised.

About Us

THE WOODPECKER PROJECT is a charity that raises funds to train people as mental health first aiders. We organise sponsored fitness challenges and the money raised goes towards providing Mental Health First Aid courses, allowing more people to gain the skills needed to support those struggling with mental health issues. We are committed to breaking down stigma, spreading awareness and creating a society of listeners ready to help those in need.

Shopping Basket