Britain to train million first-aiders to help mental health sufferers

2017-10-11 01:42:52 GMT2017-10-11 09:42:52(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

LONDON, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- An ambitious program to train amillion people in basic mental health first aid skills wasannounced Tuesday by Public Health England (PHE) to mark WorldMental Health Day.

The 20 million-U.S. dollar program, the biggest of its kind onBritain, will help people recognize and respond effectively tosigns of mental illness in others.

The campaign, designed and delivered by PHE will also helppeople assess their own mental wellbeing and learn techniques toreduce stress. The project will use an online learning moduledesigned to improve public knowledge, skills and confidence onmental health issues.

A spokesman for PHE said: "These are skills for life, as most ofus will at some point either experience poor mental health or carefor a loved one trying to cope. The campaign will aim to buildresilience and give people advice, based on what has been shown towork, so that we can all be better at supporting peopleexperiencing poor mental health."

Prime Minister Theresa May said: "Tackling the injustice andreducing the stigma associated with mental health conditions is apriority for me, which is why today I set the goal of providing onemillion members of the public with basic mental health awarenessand first aid."

Paul Farmer, CEO of the mental health charity MIND, said: "Afive-year plan for improving mental health services was launchedlast year and includes an additional 1 billion pounds (1.32 billionU.S. dollars) of investment in mental health services by 2020-21.We need to see this plan delivered, with funding reaching the frontline."

The profile of mental health in Britain has been raisedfollowing active support from the British royal family.

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