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Mental Health First Aid

Delivery of Mental Health Adult First Aider England Training to empower managers to put wellbeing at the heart of their approach in settings, championing efforts to promote and support mental health and wellbeing. 


Head Teachers / School Leaders, Local Authorities, School Teachers, Trusts


Early Years, Inclusion and SEND, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Workforce: Recruitment, Retention and Development


Whole School

Why was the project needed?

Through networks a need to support staff wellbeing and support confidence and knowledge in championing mental health and wellbeing awareness in education settings was identified. By upskilling staff and building on confidence with an accredited training programme it was recognised that this could lead to a network of mental health first aiders across the Opportunity Area. 

What happened and what was the impact?

The project supported 95 practitioners within the the Opportunity Area through Mental Health First Aider training affiliated to Mental Health First Aid England. Through 4 weekly sessions the course was delivered virtually in groups of up to 12 delegates across educational phases. 

The course remit was to: 

  • Empower staff to put wellbeing at the heart of their leadership approach 
  • Teach practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues. 
  • Gain confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress. 
  • Learn about mental health and how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue 
  • Help your workplace managers to develop their skills and knowledge to have effective mental health conversations with their teams 

The upskilling of staff will further boost the support available in their respective educational environments 

What did and didn't work?

The project worked well. There was a change of delivery to online training due to constraints of COVID-19 being unable to hold face to face training.

How did you measure success?

Across settings within the Opportunity Area attendees were asked about their confidence and knowledge  before and after the training:

  • Average rating of confidence before training -4.3
  • Average rating of confidence after training – 8.43
  • Increase in confidence of 96%
  • Average rating of knowledge before training -4.26
  • Average rating of knowledge after training – 8.69
  • Increase in confidence of 104%
  • Trainer rating and delivery – 9.90


Ingredients For Success

  • Accredited training from Mental Health First Aid England.
  • Time – 2 full day course and e-learning activities. 

Is the Project Complete or Ongoing

Project completed. Mental Health England recommends a refresher training in Mental Health First Aid every 2 years.

How is the Project Sustainable

It is recommended that practitioners refresh their skills with MHFA England after 2 years.

It is recognised the benefits of the project to upskill, increase confidence and knowledge of practitioners will be a starting point to build and empower practitioners to continue to champion mental health and wellbeing in settings and be a point of contact to support others.

What are the Long Term Impacts

  • Act as a champion for mental health and wellbeing within their setting
  • Empower staff to put wellbeing at the heart of their approach
  • Use their knowledge to effectively communicate positive values-based approach, and to promote openness and understanding to normalise mental health and its fluctuations throughout life.
  • To have and understanding and be able to identify the best service to access mental health support services across the NHS, their Local Authority and Voluntary and Community Sector partners.
  • Gain knowledge in the range of mental health issues likely to be encountered
  • Understanding the risk factors associated with specific groups

Area Most Impacted

Mental Health

See how others have implemented this Big Idea

Mental Health First Aid - Highfield Nursery

Next steps to do something similar yourself

Read the EEF Guidance Report on Social and Emotional Learning here

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