Become a Mental Health First Aider (CPD59)

Learn practical skills to spot the signs of poor mental health, support wellbeing and create a more positive culture

We are not currently offering this course

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England is an internationally recognised organisation and its training programmes are designed to provide mental health support help on a first aid basis.

In the same way as learning physical first aid, MHFA teaches you how to recognise crucial warning signs of mental ill health and improves your confidence in guiding people to appropriate support. Led by an accredited instructor member of MHFA England, our training will empower you to create a more positive culture within your organisation or community, encouraging people to talk more freely about mental health and reducing stigma.

Upon completing the training you’ll receive three years of certification, plus access to ongoing benefits.

Aims and learning objectives

After completing the MHFA training, you will be able to:

  • recognise those that may be experiencing poor mental health and provide them with first-level support and early intervention
  • encourage a person to identify and access sources of professional help and other support
  • practise active listening and empathy
  • have a conversation with improved mental health literacy around language and stigma
  • discuss the Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider®) role in depth, including boundaries and confidentiality
  • practise self-care
  • know how to use the MHFAider Support App®
  • know how to access a dedicated text service provided by Shout and ongoing learning opportunities with MHFA England

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for anyone who would like to learn more about mental health and provide mental health support to the people around them.

If you are an organisation deciding which employees should attend this training, you may find the following considerations helpful:

  • do they have a desire to learn more about mental health and support others if required to do so?
  • will they be provided with the required time and support to attend the training and fulfil their role once trained?
  • do they have line management responsibilities which could benefit from the training?

For an initial introduction to the topic, you might also be interested in the half-day awareness course.

Course details

To become a MHFAider®, you must complete a two-day MHFAider® course. This is a comprehensive awareness and skills course, which includes a mix of presentations, discussions and group work activities. For more information on the course content, please visit the MHFA England website. Alternatively, we also offer a half-day awareness course.

This course will be delivered at the Tavistock Centre, 120 Belsize Lane, London NW3 5BA.

Every Mental Health First Aid course is led by a Tavistock and Portman employed instructor member of MHFA England who has completed their Instructor Training programme.

In general, the role of a MHFAider® is to be a point of contact for anyone who is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. This interaction could range from having an initial conversation through to supporting the person to get appropriate help.

As well as in a crisis, MHFAiders® are valuable in providing early intervention help for someone who may be developing a mental health issue. They are not trained to be therapists or psychiatrists, but they can offer initial support through non-judgemental listening and guidance.

This training will teach you how to:

  • spot the early signs and symptoms of mental ill health
  • start a supportive conversation with someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress
  • listen to a person non-judgementally
  • assess the risk of suicide or self-harm
  • encourage a person to access appropriate professional support or self-help strategies,
  • escalate to the appropriate emergency services, if necessary
  • maintain confidentiality as appropriate
  • complete critical incident documents as and when necessary
  • protect yourself whilst performing your MHFAider® role


“Exceptional – lots of energy, very engaging, friendly, caring, and genuine lived experience. Best instructors, well done. Best course I have attended. ”
“I have come away with an empowering sense of appreciation, increased understanding, and improved confidence in providing first response support to those in need.”


MHFAE Instructor Logo

This course is accredited by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, a social enterprise that offers expert guidance and training to support mental health, in the workplace and beyond.

Course facilitators

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