Mental Health First Aid Champion (MHFA)



Course duration

1 Day

Certificate valid for

Never expires

The MHFA Champion 1 Day course from MHFA England gives people the awareness and skills to be a MHFA Champion. This is an awareness and skills course that will teach you to recognise the main signs and symptoms of common mental health issues and provide initial support. It will teach you how to guide a person towards appropriate professional help whilst being mindful of your own wellbeing.

MHFA Champions in your workplace can promote greater understanding of mental health and help build a mentally healthy workplace. They can play a significant part in ending stigma and discrimination around mental health in the workplace.

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course which teaches people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis.

MHFA England training won’t teach you to be a therapist, but just like physical first aid, it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis.

Adult MHFA England courses are for everyone aged 16 upwards. Every MHFA England course is delivered by a quality assured Instructor Member who has attended the Instructor Training programme accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health, and is trained to keep people safe and supported while they learn.

Research and statistics 

MHFA England

  • To date over 400,000 people across England have taken an MHFA England course
  • There are about 1,800 registered MHFA England Instructor Members in England
  • Numerous independent evaluations demonstrate that MHFA training is effective at meeting its aims. A summary of research can be found at

UK mental health

  • One in four people in the UK will experience at least one diagnosable mental health issue in any one year (Health & Social Care Information Centre, 2009)
  • Suicide is the biggest killer of men aged 20 to 49 (Office for National Statistics, 2015)
  • Mental ill health is responsible for the largest burden of ill health in the UK, representing 28% of the total burden, compared to 16% for cancer and 16% for heart disease (Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer, 2013)

Mental health in the workplace

  • At any one time one worker in six will be experiencing depression, anxiety or issues relating to stress (Centre for Mental Health, 2010)
  • Mental ill health costs UK employers £34.9 billion each year - the equivalent of £1,300 for every employee in the UK workforce. This figure consists of £10.6 billion in sickness absence, £21.2 billion in reduced productivity, and £3.1 billion in replacing staff who leave their jobs for mental health-related reasons (Centre for Mental Health, 2017)
  • Stress, anxiety and depression are the biggest cause of sickness absence in our society. Work-related stress alone accounted for 45% of all working days lost to ill health in 2015/16 (Health and Safety Executive, 2017)

MHFA Champion Course Content

This one day course trains you as an MHFA Champion, giving you: 

  • An understanding of common mental health issues  

  • Knowledge and confidence to advocate for mental health awareness

  • Ability to spot signs of mental ill health 

  • Skills to support positive wellbeing

Learner Numbers

In order to ensure the interaction between the learners and the tutor is spread evenly and effectively, the maximum number of learners allowed on a course is sixteen.

Learning takes place through a mix of presentations, group discussions and workshop activities.

Everyone who completes the course gets:

  • A certificate of attendance to say you are an MHFA Champion
  • A manual to refer to whenever you need it
  • A quick reference card for the Mental Health First Aid action plan
  • A workbook including a helpful toolkit to support your own mental health

How will attending an MHFA England course help? 

Research and evaluation shows that taking part in an MHFA England course:

  • Raises awareness and mental health literacy
  • Reduces stigma around mental ill health
  • Boosts knowledge and confidence in dealing with mental health issues
  • Promotes early intervention which enables recovery

Endorsements of MHFA

  • Business in the Community makes a clear recommendation that all employers train staff in first aid for mental health
  • Business in the Community recommends that all workplaces provide MHFA courses for line managers
  • Public Health England’s Mental Health Leadership and Workforce Development Framework published in March 2015 highlights MHFA as an appropriate skills based training model for employers
  • The Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England are all using MHFA England courses within their own organisations
  • The MHFA England Instructor Training programmes are accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health