Mental health first aid is the help provided to someone who is developing a mental health problem, has a worsening of an existing mental health problem or is in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves. Mental health first aid strategies are taught in evidence-based training programs authored by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia and conducted by accredited MHFA Instructors across Australia.
The 12-hour Mental Health First Aid course teaches adults (18 years and over) how to provide initial support to adults who are developing a mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis. The course curriculum is based on the MHFA Guidelines.
Claim CPD Points
Most professionals can claim attendance at a MHFA course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) with their industry body.
The Standard Mental Health First Aid Course has been endorsed for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for a number of professions including: nursing (i.e., midwives, mental health, practice nurses), pharmacy, fitness, chiropractic, and physiotherapy. In addition, for the following professionals, if a participant can link a relevant CPD learning goal to the Mental Health First Aid course, attendance can be claimed as CPD by: psychologists, social workers, teacher, dieticians, speech pathologists, audiologists/audiometrists and lawyers in some states and territories of Australia.You should also check directly with the body you are a member of for more information.
What the course covers
Developing mental health problems covered are:
- Anxiety problems
- Substance use problems
Mental health crisis situations covered are:
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviours
- Non-suicidal self-injury (sometimes called deliberate self-harm)
- Panic attacks
- Traumatic events
- Severe effects of drug or alcohol use
- Severe psychotic states
- Aggressive behaviours
All MHFA Courses teach how to give the mental health first aid using the MHFA Action Plan ALGEE. More information about ALGEE.
This is a 12-hour course, which can be delivered as either:
- A 2-day training package (6 hours per day), OR
- As 4 separate training modules (3 hours each)
Course participants receive a copy of the Standard MHFA Manual to keep and a Certificate of Completion.
A manual is provided to each participant attending this 12-hour MHFA course.
Who can attend a course?
Any interested adult can attend. Please note this course is not a therapy or support group, rather it is an education course to learn how to give first aid to others.
Finding a course
MHFA does not centrally coordinate courses. Contact any of the Std MHFA instructors listed on the Instructor page to arrange a course in your area. Instructors also advertise their courses at our course calendar. Most instructors are willing to travel but need expenses covered.
Your local instructor can inform you of their individual fees.
"Outstanding and thought provoking. I found this course extremely informative and believe it will help me, both in my professional and personal life."
"Informative and interesting, the course made me realise that there is a lot more involved with mental illnesses than I had previously realised. A great community course!"
"Excellent course. Well researched and presented. I found it extremely worthwhile."
"I was really impressed! The course opened my eyes to many aspects of mental health that I didn't know, or at least only superficially."
"One of the most interesting, informative and valuable courses that I have ever attended."
"Fantastic! Congratulations on developing such an important and vital course as this one."
"I think it was a fantastic course and hope that every single Australian is given the opportunity to take part in it.""I consider it a privilege to have been able to attend and learn so much from this course."