Afghanistan veteran with medals and child
4 March 2014

SSAFA receives national award for work in mental health

Our team has been presented with a Mental Health First Aid England Award in recognition of exemplary work in the field of mental health.

SSAFA receives national award for work in mental health

SSAFA has been presented with a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England Award at the House of Lords, in recognition of its exemplary work in the field of mental health.

SSAFA was nominated for ‘Exemplary Organisation’ award and was delighted to be named joint winners with The Royal British Legion and Combat Stress at the prestigious event. They were congratulated on their achievement by Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, Patron of MHFA.

The Awards, now in their fourth year, identified examples of excellent projects and individuals, and acknowledged innovation and high performance in raising mental health literacy across England.

In the UK, 1 in 4 people will experience mental ill health and MHFA is a practical way that people can use to support those who are affected.

This is the first time the Armed Forces and the corporate Workplace environment have been included within the nomination categories, which recognised Instructor Champions, Organisations who employ Instructors, Exemplary Individuals and Exemplary Organisations.

Julie Quinn, Deputy Controller Health & Social Care at SSAFA accepted the award and said
“SSAFA is greatly honoured to be recognised for the playing an integral role in delivering the Armed Forces MHFA course since the programme’s inception. We have been part of a collaborative partnership with The Department of Health, Combat Stress, The Royal British Legion, all working in conjunction with MHFA England.”

“SSAFA chairs the Project Oversight Board and assists MHFA England in rolling out the programme to 200 instructors and 6600 Armed Forces Mental Health First Aiders. We have also helped with forging contacts between MHFA England and the Armed Forces Community to address the immediate need to raise awareness about mental health within the military community and more importantly throughout the agencies that support it.”

Over 65,000 people in the UK are now MHFA trained and have been taught to spot the early signs of a mental health problem and feel confident helping a person, whilst providing help on a first aid basis. The programme also aims to reduce the stigma of mental health problems.

Poppy Jaman, CEO for MHFA England spoke at the event and said:
“I am extremely proud that our organisation has taken the national MHFA Awards ceremony into its fourth year and in doing so, continued to celebrate the fantastic work of our MHFA Instructors, the positives changes they are making within our society and our growing influence on the mental health agenda.

“The feedback that I’ve been receiving is that an MHFA Award is now considered a coveted distinction of excellence in the field of mental health.

Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE who presented the awards said:

“Since its inception in the UK, MHFA has made significant positive changes to how mental health is dealt with in all aspects of society. Last year MHFA was instrumental in the launch of two important new initiatives; the Armed Forces MHFA programme and the City Mental Health Alliance, both of which have been made possible by the hard work and dedication of the many individuals who have been recognised at this year’s Awards event. As a Patron of MHFA, I am proud to be involved with an organisation whose actions are consistently improving the mental health literacy of our society.”

Find out how you can help train Mental Health First Aiders for the Forces community.