Mental Health First Aid Instructors Programme delivers £5.5 million of social value

Building Mental Health, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), and the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity have published a report detailing the social value of their Mental Health First Aid Instructors Programme.

The Social Value Report shows that for every £1 invested, there has been £5.50 of Social Value to society, despite having to be extended by a year due to COVID-19.

The programme achieved 99% of its target for training instructors and 166% of its target for training Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) to operate in the industry daily.

Building Mental Health was launched in 2018 in response to findings in the ‘Thriving at Work’, Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers. The government commissioned report investigated how employers could provide better support to employees, including those with poor mental health or wellbeing, to remain in and thrive at work.

To help support the Building Mental Health’s aim to raise awareness of the report, a specific training project was created and managed by the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and funded by £1 million from the CITB to deliver a programme of bespoke construction-based instructor courses to achieve the following key objectives:

  • Train 288 Mental Health First Aid Instructors.
  • Trained instructors subsequently train 3,000 MHFAs in the industry.
  • Encourage the industry to engage and embrace the mental health agenda and raise awareness of mental health issues in the industry in general.
  • Make best practice and information readily and wherever possible freely available.
  • Ensure that the industry takes a huge leap forward to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health by getting the conversation started while educating as many as possible about where and when to seek help.

Key achievements of the MHFA Instructors Programme:

  • 284 Mental Health First Aid Instructors trained resulted in £1,215,141 of social value.
  • Instructors delivered training to 5,318 MHFAs, outperforming target by 66% and resulting in £3,638,842 of social value.
  • 3349 Mental Health Awareness courses, delivering £654,730 of social value.
  • Total social value of the Mental Health First Aid Instructors Programme is £5,508,713.

The report clearly shows that expectations have been surpassed, but there is no room for complacency.

Bill Hill, chief executive officer of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, said: “The report cites that the instructors trained are under no illusion that the industry still remains much closer to the start of the journey towards de-stigmatising poor mental health than the end, but there are extremely positive outcomes so far.

“Together, we have been able to offer a fresh, industry-wide approach to ensure mental health support is available for all and to drive a more inclusive and caring cultural change in our industry for this generation and the next.” 

Simon Blake, chief executive officer of MHFA England, added: “We want everyone to be able to talk freely about mental health and seek support when needed. The construction industry now has the highest number of MHFA Instructors of any other vertical industry channel, which is a huge achievement.”