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Date Posted: 28/03/2023 | Posted In: Enrichment, Student News

25 Sixth Form Bolton students have recently qualified as Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAider®). Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue. This follows The Sixth Form’s recent achievement of Gold status by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health – Further Education Mental Health Award.

Sarah Ball, our Assistant Principal, is a qualified MHFA Adult trainer so offers this course to all of our students and staff regularly each academic year. MHFA doesn’t teach our us to be a therapist, but it teaches us to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.

The students learnt to recognise warning signs of mental ill health and develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone whilst keeping themselves safe.

MHFA logo

Each of them learnt how to empower someone to access the support they might need for recovery or successful management of symptoms. This included self-help books or websites, accessing therapy services through their GP, their school or place of work, online self-referral, support groups, and much more.

What’s more, they also gained an understanding of how to support positive wellbeing and tackle stigma in the world around us.

By becoming an MHFAider® with MHFA England they all have access to continuous support – well beyond their initial certification – so we have 25 confident, empowered and motivated students to carry out their role. 

Second-year student, Aaron Speak, was delighted to receive his award and said:

I am very proud to have qualified as a MHFAider (Mental Health First Aider), joining a huge community in the fight to reduce stigma and improve the mental health of the nation. 

Assistant Principal, Sarah Ball, is also really positive about the MHFA programme and the benefits that the students’ training will give both themselves and the wider community:

This is a huge achievement, and all have committed themselves to the challenging content. They will now go on to reduce stigma around mental health, encourage support, reduce discrimination surrounding mental health and offer a positive outlook of recovery to all. 

Huge congratulations to all of our MHFAider®s, they have achieved a fantastic qualification that will help and support both themselves, friends, family, peers and colleagues.

Sixth Form students holding their MHFA certificates


All MHFAiders  get three years’ access to MHFAider® support and benefits which includes 24/7 digital support through the MHFAider Support App®. From there, they will find exclusive resources, ongoing learning opportunities and the benefit of joining England’s largest community of trained MHFAiders®.  For further information on becoming a MHFAider at B6, please contact