Mental health first aid training

The role of the mental health first aider is to support employees in the workplace who are experiencing mental ill health or distress. This support can vary from having a non-judgmental conversation with a colleague, through to guiding them towards the right support.

How it works

Having been successful in an application to Police Care UK for funding, West Mercia Police trained eight instructors ‘in house’ through MHFA England. They were then able to roll out a three year programme to train all sergeants, inspectors and police staff equivalents in the first year, student officers in the second year and OCC staff in the third year.

The training consists of either two days in a classroom based delivery or an online learning package with up to four shorter group sessions via a medium such as Zoom or Teams. The trainers are expected to undertake an annual CPD with course delegates receiving refresher training every three years (four hours).

The course is a practical skills and awareness course designed to give staff:

  • a deeper understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect people’s wellbeing, including their own
  • practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues
  • confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress
  • enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening
  • knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to appropriate support

Top tips for implementation

Tip 1
Seek support for funding to ensure in house training can be provided.
Tip 2
Focus your efforts on front line supervisors and line managers in the first instance.
Tip 3
Ensure your MHFA have access to support should they find the role difficult or distressing.
Budget required

Ease of implementation


Impact on investigators


Link to resources

Go to MHFA England