Mental health first aid training course launched

Alison Chard 22 September 2017

A new mental health first aid training course will be launched in Freshers Week this year for Cambridge staff and students.

The course aims to help participants recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, intervene to offer first aid and then guide people suffering towards the help they need.

The results of an NUS poll of 1000 students suggest the training is much needed. The poll found that 8 out of 10 students had experienced a mental health issue in the past year and less than half of them had sought help.

Universities have come under increasing pressure to improve the mental well-being of their students but the staff often have limited resources to be able to help. It’s hoped this first aid approach will ensure better care for students and support academic and administrative staff.

It is estimated that 75% of all mental health issues will develop by the age of 24, so many students are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of academic work, relationships and the pressure to succeed.

Caroline Hounsell, Director and Higher Education lead at Mental Health First Aid England noted that, “Although students fall into a particularly at-risk group, early intervention and support can reduce many long-term impacts of mental ill health including academic failure, dropout and limited employment prospects.”

The one-day course, which had been developed by MHFA in collaboration with Student Minds, will be available at Universities across the UK in addition to at Cambridge.

For more information about MHFA and their training, visit their website here.