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Training, courses & groups

While at university, we may be a bystander in a range of situations that aren’t ok.  Perhaps we hear someone make a discriminatory joke about sex, gender or race.  We might see someone being harassed, or a person tells us they’ve experienced assault. We may be concerned about someone’s mental health, or observe that a friend is using alcohol in a harmful way.  Most of us want to take action, but don’t know what to do or say to make a meaningful difference.

The Medical and Counselling Centre presents a 2-hour workshop on bystander intervention in the university setting.  This training helps to identify safe and effective strategies in common bystander situations, including:

  • Mental health issues
  • Harmful use of alcohol and other drugs
  • Discrimination, bullying and harassment
  • Sexual assault and harassment
  • Intimate partner violence

The workshop explores how challenging situations affect our perception and decision-making, and offers techniques for taking clear action under pressure.  The training also discusses the variety of services that can assist in the community and on campus, including the university’s incident reporting process.

For more information or to register for this workshop, please contact Sam Smith :

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 Centre ONLY offers Mental Health First Aid Training to UC staff & students. For more information contact

‘ACT for Anxiety’ group information
The UC Medical and Counselling team have created an ‘ACT for Anxiety’ group program, to help clients who are experiencing difficulties with anxiety. This group aims to provide you with skills and strategies to better manage your anxiety and to improve your day-to-day life.

What is ACT?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a mindfulness-based therapy, which is proven to be effective for the treatment of anxiety disorders. As the name suggests, ACT aims to help people to accept what is out of their control and commit to actions that improves and enriches their lives.
ACT does this by:
- Teaching skills to deal with painful thoughts and feelings effectively
- Helping to clarify what is important to you and using that knowledge to motivate you to create positive change.

How do I become involved?

Your psychologist at UC Medical and Counselling may refer you to the group. Once this referral has been received, you will be contacted by the Medical and Counselling team via your student email address with further information.
Numbers for the group will be limited, so if you are unable to attend, we may add you to the waitlist for the next group program.

Important details!
The group will run for 1 to 1.5 hours per week, over the course of 6 weeks at 11 am.
Location to be confirmed
If you have any further questions about the group, please speak with your psychologist at UC Medical and Counselling or contact Sam Smith.

The Weekly Psych Session Group Information

The Weekly Psych session is a weekly psychology skills workshop run by the UC Medical and Counselling Centre. The sessions are focused on helping students improve their coping and study skills.

What is the Weekly Psych Session?

The weekly sessions are designed to help students through their university, professional and personal lives. Sessions cover a variety of topics including:

  • Goal setting
  • Controlling Procrastination
  • Resilience
  • Mindfulness

Attendance is voluntary and cost-free to all UC students.

How do I become involved?

Register on Humanitix.

Visit the UC Medical and Counselling Centre Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, call
6201 2351, for more information, or email  Sam Smith

Important Details

All sessions run on a Thursday.

Do you want to learn more about alcohol and help other students understand more about its harms and effects?
The Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association (ATODA) ACT is working in conjunction with the University Drug and Alcohol Network (UDAN) & the UC Medical & Counselling Centre to address alcohol and other drug use amongst university students in the ACT. Currently UDAN and ATODA are scoping a potential Drink in Check Train-the-Trainer project, and we want you!

What would be involved?
The Drink in Check Train-the-Trainer project would involve attending one 3.5 hour training program on alcohol so you can train other students. At this session, you would be taught how to use the Alcohol Use Disorders Inventory Test (AUDIT), developed by the World Health Organization to screen for risky drinking. You would also learn how to provide feedback utilising Brief Intervention (BI) techniques to participants completing the AUDIT and how to support others to set goals for changing their drinking habits. The training would also provide you with some tips on being a good trainer. Following completion of the training you would be certified to conduct Drink in Check training to other university students. The training would expand your skills and knowledge about alcohol related harms, provide mentoring experience and will be a valuable addition to your CV at no cost. You would also receive a Certificate of Attendance for the Drink in Check training and a Statement of Completion Reference to add to your CV.

Price: FREE
For further information about the Drink in Check project or to register your interest in participating, please email: Leanne Bourke at ATODA on