The Welsh Government supports the Mental Health First Aid (Wales) course, which is delivered by Mind Cymru. The programme began in 2007, and this month reached 10,000 participants.
The course teaches people about mental health problems and gives them the skills they need to help people in crisis. It covers common mental health issues including alcohol, drugs and depression, crisis first aid for suicidal behaviour, first aid for anxiety and panic attacks, and other issues such as self-harm.
Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said:
“One in four people are affected by mental health problems each year, however, most of us lack the skills and confidence to support colleagues or friends appropriately.
“Last month I launched the first mental health Strategy for Wales that covers people of all ages. Together for Mental Health sets out our ambitions for improving mental health and our vision for 21st century mental health services.
“The Mental Health First Aid course is key to ensuring more people recover from mental illness through preventative measures and early intervention.
“I am delighted so many people are training in Mental Health First Aid, which is designed for everyone. Participants tell us they enjoy the course and feel much more confident they could offer the right help to someone with a mental health problem.
“As well as providing help for those who need it, the course aims to improve awareness of mental health problems in the workforce and public as a whole. This will help reduce stigma, promote help-seeking behaviour and provide initial intervention before professional help is delivered.
“I would like to see the course go from strength to strength and for Mental Health First Aid to be recognised as important as any other kind of first aid.”