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Mental Health First Aid

About MHFA Australia

The Mental Health First Aid Program was developed in 2000 by Betty Kitchener and Prof Tony Jorm and operates within Mental Health First Aid Australia - a national not-for-profit organisation (based in Melbourne) focused on mental health training and research.

The Program has been well evaluated and found to be effective in improving mental health literacy, reducing stigma and increasing helping behaviours. These evaluations have been carried out in workplace and community settings.

The Program has spread to every state and territory of Australia and internationally.

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental health first aid is the help given to someone developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis resolves.


What is blended Mental Health First Aid?

Designed for increased flexibility, Mental Health First Aid can be delivered in blended mode: a combination of online (eLearning) and a half-day face-to-face workshop.

Course participants first complete the interactive self-paced eLearning component that teaches them about mental health problems, mental health crises, and skills to offer initial help to an adult developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis.

The follow-on face-to-face session allows participants the opportunity to revise and consolidate knowledge and skills in a group environment, and to apply their skills to specific scenarios. The face-to-face component must be done within 3 months of completing the eLearning component.

After completing both parts of the course, participants can complete an online Accreditation Assessment to become an Accredited Mental Health First Aider.

This course teaches adults how to assist other adults who are experiencing a mental health crisis or developing a mental health problem.

What is the Standard Mental Health First Aid course?
Course Format

This is a 12-hour course (4 modules, two six-hour sessions). Course participants receive a copy of the Standard MHFA Manual to keep and a Certificate of Completion.

The Standard Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course is based on the international MHFA Guidelines. These guidelines were developed using consensus of mental health consumers, carers and professionals from English-speaking developed countries.

Course Content

The Standard MHFA course teaches members of the public how to assist someone who is developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis.

Developing mental health problems covered:

* Depression

* Anxiety problems

* Psychosis

* Substance use problems.

Mental health crises covered:

* Suicidal thoughts and behaviours

* Non-suicidal self-injury

* Panic attacks

* Traumatic events

* Severe psychotic states

* Severe effects from alcohol or another drug use

* Aggressive behaviours.

The UC Medical & Counselling offers Mental Health First Aid Training to UC staff & students. For more information contact Jody Kerr