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UK govt offering mental health training to 1 million people

Wednesday 18th October 2017
One million people in the UK will receive mental health first aid training as part of a new government initiative. Image credit: ralphgillen via iStock
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A new £15 million Public Health England (PHE) initiative will see one million people in the UK receive mental health first aid training, it has been announced.

The initiative was revealed last week on World Mental Health Day (Tuesday October 10th) in recognition of the fact that there is still a widespread lack of awareness of the best approach to take to help patients suffering from mental health problems.

PHE will be working with the organisation Mental Health First Aid England to deliver the programme, which is set to begin in 2018 and continue for the following three years.

The initiative won't just be about learning how to best support other people who are struggling with their mental health, however. It will also teach participants how to reduce their own stress levels and improve their emotional resilience so they are better able to control their individual mental wellbeing.

The news of the programme's launch has been praised by UK mental health charity Mind. Chief executive Paul Farmer commented: "We welcome the news that up to a million people across England will be helped to improve their understanding of mental health.

"While the national conversation around mental health is much more open than ever before, initiatives like this should help address the importance of helping all of us to understand mental health."

The mental health first aid initiative forms part of the UK government's five-year plan to improve mental health services across the country, which will see £1 billion invested in this sector between now and 2020-21.

Part of this plan involves raising awareness of mental health issues and reducing the stigma that can still surround them. Subsequently, this is likely to increase the level of demand placed on mental health services across Britain, so this greater focus on training for mental health first aid has come at an apt time.

Written by Angela Newbury

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