Free Mental Health First Aid Training
Published: 18 October 2022
Free training is being offered to people who want to feel confident supporting family members, friends and neighbours with their mental health. Anyone who lives or works in Derby is eligible to access the courses, which are available as either in-person or virtual training.
There are two courses available – Mental Health First Aid (adult or youth) and Mental Health Awareness. The training is a joint initiative by Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council and Erewash Voluntary Action.
The Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course teaches participants how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue. It aims to give people the confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress, alongside the practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues.
Participants will also be able signpost the person towards the appropriate professional support, should they need it. The face-to-face course lasts two days while the online option consists of four sessions, usually around three hours per session, spread over a few weeks.
The Mental Health Awareness course is designed to increase skills and confidence. It gives participants a general awareness and understanding of mental health, including addressing stigma, and an overview of resources and services.
The half-day course is suitable for people who want general mental health awareness or as an introduction to the topic of mental health.
The training is delivered in partnership between Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council as part of a strategic approach to mental health and suicide prevention. A key principle is that everyone can play a role in supporting others, in addition to being more aware of their own mental wellbeing.
Ellie Scott, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Development Worker for Erewash Voluntary Action, said:
Feeling confident and equipped to talk about mental health is key, and this training will give you the tools to do so. It is a brilliant opportunity.
There is a dedicated Mental Health First Aid Network that allows those who have completed the MHFA training to share experiences, get support and share information around their roles in a safe space. It is a way to connect with others who are in the same position and are using their skills to help the community.
Councillor Roy Webb, Derby City Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Housing, said:
As the cost of living rises, many people are facing pressures that can take their toll on mental health. These courses will provide people with the knowledge and confidence to support family members, friends or colleagues that may need support.
We are pleased to be working alongside our partners to ensure this free training is available to the people of Derby.
The training, which is being funded through a central government grant, is available to individuals or groups. Members of local community groups that have already undergone the training said they found it useful. One said:
The training was really beneficial. Just attending the course has stimulated conversations with colleagues, family and friends that would not have taken place before.
The tools and techniques that were discussed are really useful in day-to-day communication and have enabled me to be more mindful of others’ perspectives.
Another participant added:
I was really impressed with the course. I've learnt such a lot and feel so confident now. I feel I'm well equipped to approach people now, compared with before.
Details of the training available and how to sign up can be found on Derbyshire County Council’s website.
Places can fill up quickly, but the page is continuously updated as new courses are added.