Adapt MHFA for your country | Mental Health First Aid

Is my organisation suitable to licence the MHFA program in a country outside of Australia?

From our experience, we have seen that the MHFA program needs to be supported by a suitable mental health organisation in that country for it to be successful.

Organisations must meet the following criteria to be considered suitable to licence the MHFA program in a country outside of Australia:

  1. The organisation’s team has relevant knowledge, skills and experience in mental health and education. For example, the team should consist of staff with backgrounds and work experience in the areas of mental health, psychology or psychiatry and adult education.
  2. The organisation has enough funding to get the MHFA Program started, which will cover the costs of staff time for up to 6-12 months to tailor, translate and print the teaching materials and a funding model that will keep the program sustainable in the future.
  3. The organisation can deliver the MHFA Program to a large enough population within their country. That is, it has the capacity to deliver the Program across nationally, rather than just in one city or region.
  4. The organisation is from a high income country that has a well-developed mental health care system and individualistic culture.*

MHFA Programs that can be licenced in countries outside of Australia

  1. 12-hour Standard MHFA Program – adults helping other adults
  2. 14-hour Youth MHFA Program – adults helping adolescents
  3. teen MHFA Program – adolescents helping their student peers.

Generally we recommend setting up the Standard MHFA course first, before taking on the Youth MHFA and teen MHFA programs. Please note that the teen MHFA Program can only be delivered to adolescents if adults have already completing the Youth MHFA training. Therefore we only allow the teen MHFA Program to be licensed with the Youth MHFA Program.

*Low to middle income countries

The current MHFA course is based on guidelines that have been developed using a systematic research technique called the Delphi consensus method that is based on the shared understanding of groups of experts. The MHFA guidelines are appropriate for high income countries that have well-developed mental health care systems and a more individualistic culture. These guidelines are therefore not suitable for use in countries with very different health systems and cultural backgrounds.

MHFA International plans to develop MHFA guidelines suitable for low to middle income countries. The guidelines will inform the development of a MHFA course for low to middle income countries. This work is subject to funding and MHFA International continues to apply for sources of funding for this project. If funding is secured, the project will take a number of years to be completed.

Helpful Documents to Download

  1. Further information about the steps involved in adapting the MHFA Australia Program for another country