The 12-hour Standard Mental Health First Aid course teaches people (18 years and over) how to offer initial support to adults who are developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves. The course curriculum is evidence-based, as informed by the MHFA Guidelines.
This course has been widely evaluated in research trials conducted by MHFA Australia and independent organisations. These evaluations consistently show that participants who complete the course have improved knowledge of mental illnesses and their treatments, knowledge of appropriate first aid strategies, and confidence in providing first aid to individuals with mental illness, benefits which are maintained over time. Some studies have also shown improved mental health in those who attend the training, decreases in stigmatising attitudes and increases in the amount and type of support provided to others. View all MHFA Course evaluations.
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.
What the Course Covers
Course participants learn about the signs and symptoms of the common and disabling mental health problems, how to provide initial help, where and how to get professional help, what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective, and how to provide first aid in a crisis situation.
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 will confirm their individual fees.
Become an Accredited Mental Health First Aider
Participants who complete this training are eligible to complete an online Accreditation Assessment in order to receive a Mental Health First Aider Certificate of Accreditation valid for 3 years. Learn more.
"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."
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