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What Makes a Good Mental Health First Aider

The role of Mental Health First Aiders in the workplace has recently shown prevalence with the UK’s proposal for a “Mental Health First Aid Law.”

If you’re thinking about becoming a Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider®), you may be wondering if the skills required and your characteristics mean this is right for you.

What Qualities Make a Good Mental Health First Aider?

Mental Health First Aid Courses are available to everyone; MHFA England are aiming to train 1 in 10 of the population, however there are some things to consider when deciding on getting an MHFA qualification. Individuals going on the course should have these qualities:

Desire to Learn

Individuals should have a desire to learn more about mental health, this includes learning about their own wellbeing as well as others’. They should be eager to gain a deeper understanding of mental health, identifying factors, how to provide support, etc.

Empathy & Compassion

Following on from the quality above, individuals’ desire to learn may stem from compassion and empathy – another important quality for making a good Mental Health First Aider. Empathy is required in order to enhance support for those who are vulnerable; it helps reassure and support them as well as pick up on certain traits. Showing compassion is also important to help those who suffer from poor mental health feel heard and listened to.

Active Listening

One way of showing compassion is through active listening. It’s important to fully engage and understand when someone is confiding in you; actively listening rather than thinking about something else during a conversation will benefit both the listener and the speaker. Demonstrating complete understanding with no judgemental attitude will make colleagues feel more at ease and comfortable with being open.

Efficient Time Management

Individuals should have the ability to manage their time well, so they can dedicate enough time to being an MHFAider® alongside their current role. This time management extends to taking responsibility for effectively fulfilling each role and recognising opportunities to share expertise amongst the team.


Confidence and trust go hand-in-hand; by showing those with poor mental health that they are listened to, responded to and action is taken when needed, this will instil trust and assurance amongst employees and colleagues. Individuals should have confidence in their ability to handle difficult situations and show others they are reliable.

MHFA Course with Training for Life

If you’re interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the issues that impact on and relate to people’s mental health, undertaking an MHFA Course would be right for you.

All of these qualities above, alongside support from your workplace, are a great starting point to become a good Mental Health First Aider and you will continue to learn new skills as well as enhance existing ones to help you excel in the role. Book on a training course with us today.