Donal Scanlan, Manager of Mental Health First Aid Ireland (MHFA) is today presenting before senior management of the EU Parliament in Brussels, and EP Vice President Mairead Mc Guinness(MEP) to highlight the importance of staff mental health initiatives, and how organisations can benefit from the programme.
MHFA Ireland will also conduct a pan-European webcast to all Parliament personnel today, for staff based in Luxembourg, Strasbourg and EP offices throughout the EU. Donal Scanlan will lead today’s meetings and also deliver the webcast presentation entitled:
Let’s Talk About Mental Health
Removing Stigma, Raising Awareness, Creating a Better Working Environment
to a potential audience of 7,500 staff members of the Parliament. Mairead Mc Guinness MEP will also meet with MHFA trainers currently providing the service within Parliament, and will introduce today’s web-cast. The 4 accredited and qualified MHFA trainers for the EU Parliament include:
- Bénédicte BELGE
- Barbara BEROS
- Silvia CIPRIANI
- William O’BRIEN
Donal Scanlan, MHFA Ireland Manager said: “I am very proud of the collaborative work we are doing with the European Parliament to bring Mental Health First Aid training to their staff. The European Parliament is the first EU institution to offer the training in Brussels and Luxembourg. The positive feedback from participants reflects the passion and knowledge that our instructors bring to every course delivered. We look forward to growing the number of staff trained in the European Parliament to over 200 in the coming year.”
Mairead McGuinness, First Vice President of the European Parliament said: “I am delighted that the European Parliament and Mental Health First Aid Ireland are collaborating to roll out important training for EU officials and staff. I believe that all organisations, companies and institutions should look at the benefits such training offers for the well-being of staff. The training offers the opportunity for organisations to open the conversation on mental health and to assist, in a timely manner, those who are experiencing difficulties.”
MHFA, an internationally evidence-based programme, is the initial assistance offered to a person who is developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional support is received or until the crises resolves. Participants in the training programme will learn how to recognise when someone is experiencing a mental health problem and through a framework of communication, how to offer and provide initial help. They will also learn how to support a person to engage with appropriate professional care, or other supportive help.
The Mental Health First Aid training programme has been extensively evaluated and found in research studies to be effective by:
- improving mental health literacy
- improving people’s confidence to provide help
- reducing stigma
MHFA Ireland also announces today that it has reached a record milestone of training over 7,000 people in the Republic of Ireland since the programme commenced in 2015. Mental Health First Aid training is available to everyone via courses that are run throughout the country, exclusively by Mental Health First Aid Ireland with a team of over 40 instructors. Saint John of God Hospital is licensed by MHFA Australia to deliver Mental Health First Aid in the Republic of Ireland and other specified locations outside of Ireland.
Mental Health First Aid Ireland began rolling out its programme last year (2019), as part of the EU Parliament’s “Mind Matters” staff support programme. In the Republic of Ireland, training has been delivered in a variety of workplaces and in communities including: An Garda Síochána, Defence Forces, the construction industry, hospitality services, financial, legal and consultancy services.
For further information, please visit www.mhfaireland.ie