Universities and third sector working in partnership to co-deliver accredited, community mental health training

Mark Richardson, Owain Jones, Carolyn Wallace, Sheree Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training package, originally designed for tackling stigma and for promoting awareness of mental health across communities. Despite the international popularity of the programme, charges for delivery in Wales of what is otherwise an education programme means the MHFA (Wales) is often an option only to those working in organisations or those who can pay. This seems to defeat the original vision of Mental Health First Aid Australia of "a community where everyone has the first aid skills to support people with mental health problems" (Mental Health First Aid Foundation, Australia 2015).

Recognising this as a widening participation (WP) issue, the University of South Wales (USW) along with its outreach initiative the University Heads of the Valleys (UHOVI) and third sector partner, Training in Mind (TiM), developed the first ever level four accredited version of the MHFA (Wales).

The five credit module, through a bursary offered by UHOVI, now offers funded opportunities for local community participants who are living in what are otherwise termed 'hard-to-reach' areas, to access the training. The training is delivered exclusively through TiM where access to the MHFA (Wales) training remains committed to tackling stigma, discrimination as well as helping to build community resilience – while equally supporting wider knowledge of community widening participation in learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-94
JournalWidening Participation and Lifelong Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2017


  • Community resilience
  • mental health
  • partnerships
  • reducing stigma
  • third sector/University
  • widening participation


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