Updates from Health and Wellbeing at Work 2018 and a personal message from MHFA England CEO, Poppy Jaman OBE.
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Mental Health First Aid Newsletter

April 2018

Welcome to the April edition of the Mental Health First Aid England newsletter. We hope you’re feeling well rested after the Easter break. In this issue, we’re pleased to share with you updates from the Health and Wellbeing at Work conference, our plans for the upcoming Mental Health Awareness Week in May and news from our CEO, Poppy Jaman OBE.

Health and Wellbeing at Work 2018

The Mental Health First Aid England team were pleased to join the Health and Wellbeing at Work conference again this year. The event took place over two days at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, bringing together stakeholders from a wide range of industries to discuss and exhibit new ideas, resources and strategies for supporting the health and wellbeing of working age people.

Sarah and Becca-Jane from the MHFA England team were joined by a team of instructors to run our stand in the main exhibition area. It was great to see how engaged so many of the delegates were around MHFA, sharing their experiences as instructors and MHFAiders and with many others already having a good knowledge of us.
Several friends of MHFA England were involved in speaking and chairing at the event, including Robert Manson, Head of Occupational Health and Wellbeing at RWE Npower, Martin Coyd OBE, Head of Health and Safety at Mace, Beth Taylor, Head of Wellbeing at PwC, Dr. Chris Shambrook, GB Rowing Consultant, Director of Marketing and Communications at MHFA England, Eleanor Miller, Chetna Bhatt of Being Lawyers and Tej Parikh from the Institute of Directors. Our thanks to all our speakers for sharing their inspiring stories on behalf of MHFA England.

Our thanks to all of you who came along to our talks and our stand to show your support for Mental Health First Aid.

MHFA England announces the departure of CEO Poppy Jaman OBE

Last month we announced that our CEO Poppy Jaman OBE will be leaving her position to focus on her role as CEO of the City Mental Health Alliance, and to explore opportunities in the global mental health space.

As one of the founders of the MHFA movement in the UK, Poppy has been working to promote MHFA training in England since 2007, and has served as our CEO since our organisation was first established in 2009, growing it from a small government project into a successful social enterprise.

Poppy said, “After dedicating more than a decade of my career to promoting Mental Health First Aid in this country, the time has come for me to explore the next phase of my professional life. Leading MHFA England has been a privilege, and a fantastic challenge that has brought me a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction, both personally and professionally.”

“Over the past ten years, our community has built a solid foundation for a movement capable of changing hearts and minds throughout the nation, moving us closer towards parity of esteem between mental health and physical health in the process. Whilst I will be sad to no longer be a central part of this, I know that great things lie ahead for MHFA England and all its supporters.”

Poppy will continue her work in an ambassadorial capacity for the next six to twelve months, during which time we will welcome a new CEO.

We are so grateful for Poppy’s hard work leading MHFA England for the last ten years, and we wish her the best in everything she goes on to do.

Tell your story

Have you got a story to tell? Are you interested in sharing your experience as a Mental Health First Aider and how you have supported someone? MHFA England's Marketing & Communications team are keen to support our small but passionate community to share powerful and thought-provoking stories through all kinds of media. 

If you want to support us in helping more people to understand the impact Mental Health First Aiders have, whatever the setting, we'd love to hear from you!

To help us tell your story, get in touch with Communications and Public Affairs Officer, Angus at angus@mhfaengland.org

Mental Health Awareness Week

Each year, we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, organised by the Mental Health Foundation. This year the week is being marked from 14th – 20th May, and the focus is on “Stress: are we coping?”. Research has found that 16 million people experience a mental health issue each year, with stress playing a key factor in this.

This year, the Mental Health Foundation want to raise awareness of the impact of stress, and the ways that targeting stress can help ease the impact of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. They will be sharing tips on how we can tackle stress, and improve our mental health.

The MHFA England team is pleased to be supporting this important awareness raising event. To support the theme, we will be releasing a new toolkit designed to help tackle the causes of stress, in every community. Keep your eyes on our website and social media channels for more details closer to the time!

Join the team at MHFA England

We’re excited to announce that we have a number of upcoming roles available at MHFA England! If you’re passionate about making a difference to the future of mental health, and supporting us on our mission to train one in ten people in Mental Health First Aid skills, why not apply to join our team?

All roles are based at our head office in central London, where our friendly and dedicated team work to make MHFA courses possible. We offer a range of benefits, and we’re proud to be a Disability Confident Employer, and also accredited by the London Healthy Workplace Charter.

To find out more, or to submit an application, head to the Careers section of our website.

CLASP Charity’s Walking out of Darkness events – your chance to take part

CLASP Charity will this year be hosting seven ‘Walking out of Darkness’ events in locations all over the country, from May to October (Mental Health Awareness Week to World Mental Health Day).

Each event is a 10-mile route through a designated city, with different local charities and services getting involved to share mental health advice and raise mental health awareness.

Events will be happening in: London (12th May), Nottingham (27th May), York (10th June), Brighton (24th June), Bristol (9th September), Birmingham (7th September) and Norwich (23rd September).

To register visit www.walkingoutofdarkness.com.

Research highlights misuse of mental health terminology but growing awareness

Research published by Bupa shows more than half of UK adults (53%) believe that people are more aware of mental health conditions than they were five years ago, however many (49%) are using words such as ‘schizophrenic’ and ‘autistic’ to describe themselves incorrectly.

We’re working with Bupa to call for people to be mindful to avoid stigmatising or alienating language around mental health.

Read more.

MHFA instructor leads new programme to support health and wellbeing in Mancunian schools

The Greater Manchester mentally healthy schools pilot was launched last month to promote better mental health and wellbeing among students, and improved skills in identifying signs and symptoms of mental illness among school staff.

Lisa Fathers, Director of the Alliance for Learning and a National Trainer with MHFA England is leading the drive into the pilot schools.

Read more.

News in brief

  • A new government announcement around further funding for Mental Health First Aid in schools was covered by the HuffPost
  • A new report created in collaboration between Bupa and MHFA England looking at the language of mental health was included in articles by the HuffPost, Telegraph, and Metro
  • The Metro published an article on Mental Health First Aid calling for more people to take the training
  • MP Norman Lamb joined our campaign to raise awareness of the importance of language used around mental health, and this was covered in the North Norfolk News
  • The Tewksbury Town Crier included coverage of the Arlington Police introducing Mental Health First Aid training for officers as part of the One Mind Pledge
  • The Dorset Echo included an article about Poundbury company RiskSTOP introducing Mental Health First Aid training
  • The Innovate my School blog interviewed MHFA instructor Kath Thompson about the importance of Mental Health First Aid in schools
  • The role Mental Health First Aid plays in supporting students and staff at King’s College London was covered by Times Higher Education
  • WHSmith’s commitment to matching numbers of physical and Mental Health First Aiders was covered by HR Grapevine, including an interview with instructor Alison Garbutt
  • Mental Health First Aid training at Sheffield Hallam University was covered in All Things IC
Have you got news you’d like us to share? Send us an email on media@mhfaengland.org and we’ll add you to our next round up.

What's coming up?


Responsible Business Week

This annual campaign from Business in the Community champions and illustrates what being a responsible business means and celebrates those businesses actively making a difference. The theme for 2018 is Pride of Place, and the week will highlight businesses being a force for good in their local communities.

World Day for Health and Safety at Work

Organised by the International Labour Organization, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (SafeDay) and the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) are coming together this year in a joint campaign to improve the safety and health of young workers and end child labour.

World Maternal Mental Health Day

Global organisations will be joining together on World Maternal Mental Health Day to show that maternal mental health should be a priority.

Mental Health Awareness Week

This year for Mental Health Awareness Week, we're focusing on stress. Research has shown that 16 million people experience a mental health problem each year, and stress is a key factor in this. Keep your eyes on our website for more ways to take part.

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