MHFA in the Workplace | Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid
Training in the workplace

Mental Health First Aid in the workplace

Every year 1 in 5 Australians will experience a common mental illness. That means that every day, millions of Australians go to work while experiencing a mental health problem; the impact of this is enormous, affecting workplace productivity, performance, and employee well-being.

Given that the average Australian worker will spend close to one third of their lives at work, the workplace is an ideal place for early intervention for mental illness.

Mental Health First Aid® (MHFA™) training has been identified as one of the key strategies to lessen the impact of mental health problems on productivity and many workplaces use MHFA™ training as the foundation for their mental health strategy.

Ignoring mental health makes no business sense

It is estimated that untreated mental health conditions cost Australian workplaces approximately $10.9 billion per year.

$4.7 billion

In absenteeism

$6.1 billion

In presenteeism

$146 million

In compensation claims

What is a Mentally Healthy Workplace?

A mentally healthy workplace is one that understands that work can play a large role in an individual’s mental health and that mental health problems can have a huge impact on an individual.

Mentally healthy workplaces promote education and adopt policies and practices that create a culture of care where employees are encouraged to talk openly about mental health.

MHFA training has been identified as one of the key strategies to lessen the impact of mental health problems on productivity and many workplaces use MHFA training as the foundation for their mental health strategy.

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid is the initial help offered to someone who is experiencing a mental health problem, or a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received, or the crisis resolves. Having the knowledge and the practical skills to proactively initiate a supportive conversation with someone you are concerned about can make all the difference.

Mental Health First Aid Australia offers early-intervention education courses for adults in the workplace that increase mental health literacy and teach the practical skills needed to support a co-worker experiencing a mental health problem.

The 12-hour MHFA training course can be delivered in 1 of 3 ways:


A 2-day course by an Accredited MHFA Instructor

Blended Face-to-Face

Self-paced eLearning component (typically 5-7 hours) followed by a 4-hour face-to-face session led by an Accredited MHFA Instructor.

Blended Online

Self-paced eLearning component (typically 5-7 hours) followed by 2 x 2.5 hour video conferencing sessions led by an Accredited MHFA Instructor.

The Mental Health First Aid Australia Difference

MHFA training is a cost-effective, early intervention program that supports and mobilises whole communities to take a proactive approach to mental health education and training.

View Fact Sheet

Be recognised

Your organisation can be recognised for your commitment to MHFA training through the Workplace Recognition Program.

Find out more

How we help you implement MHFA training

We are here to support you as you introduce MHFA training in your workplace. Download our implementation guide for tips and information on how to appoint Mental Health First Aid Officers and implement the MHFA training.

Implementation Guide

Why choose MHFA training for your business

Internationally recognised

The only internationally recognised evidence-based anti-stigma MHFA training program for workplaces.

Known first aid model

MHFA training is based on the well-known physical first aid model. This model is well understood in workplaces and is action focussed which helps participants to easily use the skills and knowledge gained in training.

Skills based training

Employees will develop relevant and practical skills that can be used across a variety of situations. Our training is complementary to other programs that are aimed at building awareness of mental health problems in the workplace.

Flexible delivery

There are Face-to-Face and Blended (eLearning plus Face-to-Face) options for delivery. Many workplaces train an employee to become an Accredited Instructor to deliver MHFA courses as a cost-effective and sustainable option.

Why your staff should complete a course

Confidence to help

They will learn how to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems.

Evidence based

MHFA courses are evidence based and are regularly evaluated and updated.

Action plan

They will learn the ALGEE® Action Plan and be equipped with the skills to help an individual with a mental health problem.

Be accredited

They can complete a standardised assessment and be recognised as an Accredited MHFAider® for 3 years.

Ready to get started?

Find your MHFA instructor

Train your staff to be an instructor


MHFA officers

People who attend the training can complete an online assessment to be accredited as a Mental Health First Aider™.
The accreditation is valid for three years, at which time participants can renew.

Just like appointing physical first aid officers, many organisations choose to appoint accredited Mental Health First Aiders to the role of Mental Health First Aid Officer within the workplace.

Mental Health First Aid Officers are appointed and supported to:

  • Provide mental health first aid within their workplace
  • Escalate any matters in a prompt and appropriate fashion according to relevant organisational policy and procedures.

Find out more about Mental Health First Aid Officers

Comments and feedback from previous participants

The MHFA training received universal high praise from participants. We received feedback that the course was “important”, “eye opening” and “very powerful”. People have reported that the training not only improved their understanding of mental distress and how to provide aid, but that it also gave them a better understanding of themselves and they learned skills that are applicable in many situations.

Hail Creek Mine

People are at the core of everything we do. Having a passionate and skilled workforce who feel supported and can support each other is vitally important to our success. (West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority)

West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority

Incredibly valuable, relevant and worthwhile course to do. It has raised awareness and confidence in the staff to be able to have the right conversations at the right time.

Western Australian Symphony Orchestra