Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training are part of an international training programme that originated in Australia and hopes to promote a first aid approach to those people experiencing distress.
Comparisons can be drawn between emergency (physical) first aid and mental health first aid. In both cases members of the public can offer immediate aid and support the person to gain appropriate help.
YMHFA (Wales) is funded and supported by Welsh Government as part of Wales’ work on mental health improvement.
It directly relates to Welsh Assembly Governments plan “Talk to me” that aims to reduce suicide and self harm in Wales.
YMHFA is also focussed on mental wellbeing which is a clear target for ESTYN Inspectors in education in Wales.
YMHFA (Wales) aims to help participants:
• Preserve life where a person may be a danger to
• Provide help to prevent a mental health problem developing into a more
• Promote recovery of good mental health
• Provide comfort to a person experiencing mental distress.
Safeguarding the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people across Wales took an important leap forward as the Welsh Assembly Government announced the expansion of its flagship Mental Health First Aid programme, in conjunction with Mind Cymru.
Kim Pugh, Mind Cymru’s Mental Health First Aid Project Manager, said:
“We are delighted to be working with the Welsh Assembly Government and to be able to continue this vital training. Equipping people with the skills needed to identify and provide the initial support to people experiencing mental distress is crucial, not just because of the immediate help and relief it can provide to individuals, but also in our longer-term aim of tackling the stigma often associated with mental health.
“When faced with someone experiencing a mental health crisis, often people are unsure what to do. Their actions can have a huge effect on how quickly the individual experiencing difficulties gets the help that they need. Mental Health First Aid gives people the confidence to deal with these situations.
“We know that, across Wales, children and young people are not immune from mental distress. The additional new Youth Mental Health First Aid course, aimed at anyone working with children and young people, provides specific help on how to spot a young person showing signs of mental distress and what to do to help.”