Mental Health First Aid training

The Diocese of Exeter is working with fiveways devon to deliver a range of Mental Health First Aid courses accredited by Mental Health First Aid England. The vision is for churches and their members to serve, understand and welcome their communities by having high quality training and support. (Booking details at bottom of this page).

These are national best practice secular courses; with some framing for our Christian context. Please see brilliant reflections on the parable of the Good Samaritan from Ben Slater, our trainer; and a brief guide to help all church goers engage positively and constructively with anyone experiencing mental health difficulties, that our mental health steering group has developed with Ben, for all to use.

fiveways devon are very generously subsidising half-day introductory training for as many as Christians as possible, subsequent more in-depth training for a network of local champions, and facilitating free follow-up peer support sessions. This is open to all denominations, both clergy and lay people. The first half-day online courses are happening July-Dec 2020 – booking details below.

Why is this so important?

  • 1 in 4 of us will experience mental health difficulties in any given year.
  • Being misunderstood when seeking help or going to a place of perceived safety (such as a church) can significantly set back recovery and in some cases can trigger an episode of severe mental ill health.
  • The renewing of our minds and helping the vulnerable are two strong biblical principles that sit at the heart of serving others in Jesus’ name.
  • fiveways devon has a 100% good or above trainee satisfaction rate in Mental Health First Aid Training
  • Accredited by the Royal Society of Public Health
  • Mental Health First Aid England is the only provider of licensed MHFA training in England.
  • A global movement of over 3 million MHFA-trained people in 25 countries

Half Day Youth Online Course

This course has specific examples about interactions with young people; most principles also apply for adults. It is open to all denominations, both clergy and lay people. We have run this each month from July 2020, with excellent feedback.

Topics include: What is mental health?; protective and risk factors; stigma and discrimination; mental health continuum; case studies; self-harm and suicide; signs & symptoms of mental ill health; the stress container model; recovery; self-awareness and self-care.

Please note that the primary objective is to raise awareness about how best to respond to others: it is not a therapeutic course for participants themselves. We are conscious that many people will have direct or indirect experiences of mental health challenges, and that many of us have heightened stress levels at the moment. The subject matter is dealt with sensitively, and there’s a half hour break in the middle for processing time as well as comfort.

The course follows a secular, national model; however these sessions are delivered for a cohort of Christian leaders and concerned individuals. As such, it is framed in this context, with our trainer’s brilliant reflection on the parable of the Good Samaritan as a starting point.

This course is repeated on each of the following dates, to maximise accessibility. Please note the need to book by at least 2 weeks in advance to enable course materials to be sent to you. Upcoming dates:

Month, 2021 Date, venue Time (Book by) Subsidised fee Booking link
August 2021 Tues 17th August – online 0930-1230 (book by 3rd Aug) £40 Book here
October 2021 Fri 1st October 2021 – online 0930-1230 (book by 17th Sept) £40 Book here

The course costs £40. This has been generously subsidised by fiveways Devon and includes paper resources sent to participants in advance, the online training, and free follow-up support facilitation. The Diocese of Exeter is funding wider core costs, and is keen for this training to be accessible to all. If you are on a low income, further subsidy may be available.

Any questions? Please email Ben Slater or Chris Keppie