West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2018-11-12
End date: 2018-12-23
Results: 2019-03-05

Budget Proposal 2019/20: Mental Health First Aid Training

Background

This is one of 14 budget proposals for 2019/20. You can view the full list online.

You can also view budget consultations from previous years.


Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses help people to learn how to assist someone with mental health issues. They give people the confidence to have supportive conversations around mental health, and the knowledge to signpost individuals, who may need to recover or manage their symptoms, to the appropriate treatment. In doing this, mental health issues can be addressed sooner, which can prevent symptoms from getting worse.

We've funded MHFA courses for staff, school staff and voluntary sector organisations since 2014, and have trained over 600 people. Annually, we subsidise the programme at a cost of £8,500, which covers instructor costs, room hire, teaching materials and refreshments.


Legislation requirements

There is no legislative requirement to provide this service.


What are we proposing?

To cease subsidising the current Mental Health First Aid training programme at an annual cost of £8,500 and to deliver the training through a 'West Berkshire Wellbeing' traded service from 1 April 2019.

All delegates will pay for courses. The cost of each course is as follows and includes course materials from MHFA England, refreshments and onsite car parking:

  • Mental health awareness (half day course) - £100 per person
  • Mental health champion (one day MHFA course) - £190 per person
  • Mental health first aider (two day MHFA course) - £290 per person

What do we think the impact will be?

The introduction of a charge could mean that some people or organisations will be unable to pay for the training, which may have a detrimental impact on raising awareness of mental health conditions. However, this may be offset by a number of national initiatives, which include:

  • The government's recent commitment to fund over 3,000 mental health first aid training places for staff across state secondary schools in England.

Our Educational Psychologists have been awarded the contract to deliver this training in West Berkshire.  We already have around 40 MHFA trained staff in our schools.

  • Public Health England's (PHE) development of an online coursedesigned to help improve public knowledge, skills and confidence to support their own and others mental health.

There are no details about course content as yet.  PHE are working with Mental Health First Aid England (and other partners), and it is likely that this resource will be available free of charge as an alternative to face to face training.

Please refer to the pdf icon Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) Stage One [326kb] for more details.


What else have we considered in arriving at our proposal?

  • Using a different venue (such as a room at the Council Offices at Market street) to offset room hire. This was discounted as rooms large enough to fit all the delegates were often fully booked or were not available on subsequent days for the two day courses.
  • Asking delegates to pay for their own refreshments to offset catering costs. This option isn't available at all venues.
  • Reducing the training instructor costs by using only one trainer if possible. We have previously re-negotiated the trainer costs, and made a £300 discount per course. This can't be reduced further.
  • Reducing the overall number of MHFA courses delivered. We did this in 2018/19.

Why we want your views

We would like to know how this proposal might impact you and the wider community, and any views you have on how we can minimise the impact of this proposed change.

All feedback will be considered at the Executive Committee on 14 February 2019. Following this, a final decision will be made at the Full Council meeting on 5 March 2019. The recommendations and your anonymised response will be posted on this page.

Please note: Social media discussions will not be monitored/considered as a valid response. Please use the link below to take part in the consultation.

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