Mental health first responder training

An interactive course for anyone who’d like to provide effective first responses to people experiencing mental health distress. Learn the skills to coach them to access appropriate, professional support, as well as become an advocate for positive culture change and wider wellbeing solutions.

Mental health first responder training

Is this course for you?

Mental health distress is often invisible, meaning support sometimes may not be offered until high intensity support is needed. This mental health first responder course teaches about effective communication and coaching skills to provide an initial listen and signpost service – at a time when it crucially matters. The training explores internal and external referral routes and, importantly, how to connect those in real need with the appropriate support. You’ll also be able to provide first crisis support and learn how to maintain psychological safety for yourself and others. 

This course is more focused on non-medical approaches, practical skills and safety aspects than the MHFA course.

The course follows our ‘connect, identify, support’ approach and equips you with the tools and know-how to expertly manage the Govox online wellbeing platform. 

Our mental health first responder online course is highly interactive, with whiteboard activities, quizzes, group work and practical examples, as well as short videos. Alternatively, our in-person course features walking wall activities, information stands, gamification and challenges. Whether online or face to face, the course is highly engaging and provides profound learning experiences.

How it works

What the course covers


Understand mental health and stress from a non-medical perspective, how to use the mental health continuum approach and how to appreciate individual experiences from a person-centred approach.


Learn to identify and understand warning signs for mental health distress, mental health in workplace contexts and how the wellbeing check in tool can support this.


Become skilled in wellbeing conversation techniques and coaching principles to have effective and safe conversations with people you support. You'll also learn how to connect them with timely and appropriate support.

What are the outcomes and benefits
of the training?

Increased knowledge and confidence around mental health from a non medical perspective.

Be equipped to have supportive mental health conversations.

Be able to provide an effective, first response and support to someone in mental health distress including crisis.

Knowing how to use the wellbeing check in tool to its full advantage.

Knowing how to connect someone with appropriate professional support.

Knowing how to maintain healthy boundaries within the role.

Course 1: mental health core concepts

Gain an introduction to mental health from a non-medical perspective, as well as an understanding of mental health core concepts (emotional and mental health) and causes of mental health distress, for example). Explore the essentials that equate to good mental health and understand the impact of stress and closing the stress cycle. You’ll also discover sustainable (and unhelpful) coping strategies, learn about culture-specific considerations and know how to take steps towards positive culture change.

Course 2: deeper understanding of poor mental health and positive culture change

Discover more about poor mental health and the biopsychosocial approach, using the wellbeing check-in tool and the many differing conditions and triggers (depression, anxiety and trauma, for example). This course explores mental ill health from a non-medical perspective and what the ‘first responder’ role entails, as well as covers substance use and dual diagnosis and recommended treatments and referral pathways. We’ll also cover mental health in the workplace and the real power of language in challenging mental health stigmas.

Course 3: listening and supporting

Learn how to spot the warning signs and triggers of mental health issues and gain confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress without judging them. Explore coaching principles, cultural considerations and active listening techniques. This part of the mental health first responder course covers communication in great detail and explores how to effectively open and close mental health conversations.

Course 4: effective signposting and healthy boundaries

Recognise the importance of earliest intervention and how to deliver messages of hope, with an understanding of internal and external support available. Gain increased knowledge of sources of information and how to provide it (diagnosis, NICE guidelines, self-help, groups etc). Learn about confidentiality, crisis support and boundaries, as this course covers time and space, personal vulnerability, vicarious trauma and high-risk and crisis situations including suicide and self-harm. We’ll also cover compassion fatigue and the first responder’s own mental wellbeing, as well as best practice, supervision and continuous development.


Training outcomes and benefits

A mental health first responder course can prove invaluable for an organisation. There’s no limit to the amount of people in any one organisation undertaking the training, but the more who do, the better we tackle ignorance surrounding mental health issues – and importantly, offer much-needed support. Mental health first responders are equipped with the skills to raise awareness of mental health concerns, recognise those struggling and encourage early intervention for better recovery.  

Our mental health first responder training equips you with the skills and confidence to start conversations around mental health but, more than this, you’ll know how to provide an effective first response to someone in mental health distress, perhaps even severe crisis.

This is an engaging and highly interactive course that consists of four three-hour courses and caters for up to 16 delegates. It can be conducted online or face-to-face. 

Join a course

Ready to begin improving mental health and wellbeing in your workplace, educational institution or sports organisation? Prices start from £250 per person (group discounts available).

Contact us