Mental Health Training

MHFA: don’t forget to Refresh

Posted by on 18 Jan, 2021 in Mental Health |

MHFA: don’t forget to Refresh

Don’t forget to Refresh…

In the 12 years since I first qualified as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor I’ve seen lots of change. Twelve years ago it was quite difficult to promote MHFA as the excellent training product that it was and is, and it could be exceptionally difficult to fill a training course, even at a time when a number of local organisations were offering 100% subsidised places! Of course this in itself can sometimes be the issue in that people don’t always value something they essentially view as ‘free of charge’. Thankfully things have changed for the better and now employers and employees recognise and see a greater value in supporting workplace mental health. The climate and appetite is quite different, and in fact appears to have accelerated in the last 12 months due to the pandemic and a greater need for support.

Given that MHFA has now been available in England for well over a decade, there are many Mental Health First Aiders who may not realise that their MHFA qualification has expired (or nearly expired), since in the early days there was no expiry date to the qualification. About 3 years go MHFA England rightly moved away from paper-based systems and with this changed to issuing certification electronically. Along with the change came a worthy addition to the certificate, an expiry date.

Much like any qualification of this nature e.g. physical first aid, the MHFA qualification now expires after 3 years and First Aiders are encouraged to attend an MHFA Refresher course during their third year in order to maintain the qualification. Reasons for this include reinforcing of the MHFA knowledge and skills, capturing new updates and changes, and reflecting on participant usage of their MHFA skills over the lifetime of their qualification. Re-qualifying requires MH First Aiders to attend a 4 hour Refresher course where they re-affirm the MHFA Action Plan A.L.G.E.E. and re-qualify.

The great news is that attending an MHFA Refresher is now easier than ever. MHFA England have adapted the Refresher course so that it can be delivered as a 4 hour live online session, and MH First Aiders will receive a supporting resource pack just like when they completed the original qualification. The introduction of a Refresher course doesn’t mean that participants can’t re-take the full course should they so wish, and for those who would prefer to do that we would encourage it.

If you’d like to refresh your MHFA skills, knowledge and qualification, you can find our latest online course dates here.