Mental Health First Aid England

Changing attitudes towards mental health

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Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, a community interest company, believes mental health deserves parity with physical first aid in the workplace.  We took a new concept to the business community, got the nation talking and put it on the Prime Minister’s agenda.

Our key tasks were to:

  • enable open conversations about mental health in the workplace
  • leverage World Mental Health Day and position MHFA as a key player
  • drive traffic to MHFA website and social media channels
  • increase MHFA training enquiries

Solution

We needed to break down barriers, help employers and employees to jump start the conversation and by so doing, allow them to experience MHFA training first hand.  Consequently, we created ‘Take 10 Together’ – a campaign to give people the tools and confidence to start a ten-minute conversation about mental health with a colleague.

The content-led campaign translated the most accessible training materials into engaging and shareable graphics, infographics, and video. A campaign microsite hosted the free, downloadable content which was seeded through MHFA’s digital and stakeholder channels and in the media.

The multi-channel campaign mobilised MHFA’S 1000+ training instructors, its advocates including Norman Lamb MP and Natasha Devon; engaged major institutions including CBI, CIPD, Unilever, BBC and Mind and inspired widespread earnt media from BBC Breakfast to The Sun.  All aiming at getting the nation talking about Mental Health First Aid training.

Impact

‘Take 10 Together’ transformed a training course into a mental health movement with 30,000 people accessing the content in one month and #Take10Together posted on Twitter every 70 seconds during World Mental Health Day.  Through ‘real voices’, shareable content and smart collaboration, the campaign reached over 50 million people driving a 50% increase in training enquiries for MHFA England.

The campaign’s success has catapulted Mental Health First Aid onto the national agenda. Since World Mental Health Day, the Prime Minister has announced every secondary school will have a Mental Health First Aider, Prince Harry shared his experience as an Armed Forces Mental Health First Aider, and MHFA England has been recognised as one of Europe’s fastest growing companies in the inaugural FT 1000 special report. It has also been selected as a finalist in the Third Sector Communication Agency of the Year and a PR Moment Award. 

Key learnings

Cost effective way to deliver results that went beyond awareness to drive real action.  Using low/no cost channels, content drawn from the DNA of the MHFA training, multiplied through stakeholder partners and earnt media/social was extremely productive, enabling people to talk meaningfully about mental health and employers to find out how to improve support for staff – ultimately delivering a cost-saving benefit to the British economy and improving the nation’s wellbeing in addition to exceeding MHFA objectives.

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