The Member of Parliament for Watford, Dean Russell MP, has reintroduced his bill to make mental health first aid training a legal requirement.

The bill - presented to the House of Commons on Wednesday (January 25) - would ensure that mental health first aid training is included in physical first aid training in workplaces across the country.


In his original attempt, in March 2021, the MP referenced a petition which reached over 200,000 signatures, to make mental health a part of workplace first aid.

During his speech, Dean Russell MP said: "There is no doubting the world has changed not only in the post-COVID era, but the rise in technology to the relentlessness of social media and an always-on culture.

"Our working environments are shifting rapidly, but we as humans have not changed.

"We still have emotions. We still feel love and loss, happiness and grief, joy and pain. 

"We have goals and ambitions, hopes and expectations.

"Sometimes they can be overwhelming.

"And at times we can find it hard to express how we feel, and when feeling vulnerable, they find it hard to know who to speak to when times are tough.

"In my previous attempt to bring this Bill forward, I spoke about the impact of hearing my sister sob when I was a teenager when she heard the news of one of her friends who had death by suicide. 

"So to frame the importance of this Bill, I would ask those listening to think for a moment, please, about someone they may have lost in their own lives.

"What would we all give to hold a loved one's hand just one more time? To hear them knock at the door just once more? To have just one more conversation? What would we give to have that loved one here today?

"And as I’ve said before, if suicide were a virus, we would be on the hunt for a vaccine. And if loneliness were a disease, would we not search for a cure?

"And at the extreme end of this Bill, we are talking about saving lives." 

Dean Russell MP's bill received no objections and will go through to a second reading on February 24.