Mental Health First Aid Training in Schools

MHFA in Schools

MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID
IN SCHOOLS

Adolescence is a time of important change and development. It is also the time when mental health problems such as depression and anxiety first emerge. During the high school years, mental health problems are among the leading causes of falling grades, problems with friends and relationships and substance use or abuse, and they can have a lifelong impact. This is why early intervention is so important.

Schools are an amazing source of support for adolescents and their families, but they can also be a source of strain or stress, especially for young people struggling with their mental health.

This is where Mental Health First Aid training comes in!

Providing Mental Health First Aid training in schools helps whole school communities to:

INTERVENE EARLY

Recognise the warning signs of mental health problems

PROVIDE SKILLS

Provide the skills needed to speak to a young person about their mental health

RESPOND IN A CRISIS

Respond in crisis situations where a young person may be at risk of harm

REDUCE STIGMA

Reduce stigma and increase support for people with mental health problems

MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID TRAINING
IS THE FIRST STEP

Using a practical, evidence-based Action Plan, Mental Health First Aid courses equip people with the knowledge and skills to recognise mental health problems, and to confidently provide the appropriate information and support to someone who may be developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

You can help the young people in your school community by completing Mental Health First Aid training yourself or by organising Mental Health First Aid training for staff, parents, students, or others in the school community.


DOWNLOAD MHFA FLYER

"When talking with students about problems, well-being staff have found students referring back to things they learned in the course."

WHY CHOOSE MHFA TRAINING
FOR YOUR SCHOOL?

Mental Health First Aid Australia has a range of course offerings for different settings and audiences within the community. In the school setting, we offer two courses; Youth Mental Health First Aid (Youth MHFA) and Teen Mental Health First Aid (Teen MHFA).

Youth MHFA teaches adults (teachers, parents, wellbeing staff), the skills to assist an adolescent who may be experiencing a mental health problem or mental health crisis, while Teen MHFA teaches students in years 7-9 and 10-12 how to provide mental health first aid to their peers.

Developed in Australia and delivered by trained and accredited Instructors it is recommended that both courses are implemented to create the biggest impact and have the safest outcomes for students.

Importantly, 10% of school staff must be trained in Youth MHFA prior to rolling out the Teen MHFA program.


FOR TEACHERS

Youth MHFA is an evidence-based course about mental health problems that emerge in adolescence (12-18 years) that is currently delivered as a 2-day face-to face course. This course will shortly also be available for schools as both a Blended online and Blended face-to-face offering. This flexible delivery model will include self-paced eLearning followed by Instructor-led video conferencing sessions.


FOR STUDENTS

Teen MHFA is an evidence-based, well evaluated program for students in secondary school, delivered as three 75-minute sessions to students in Years 7-9 and 10-12.


ACCESS AND FUNDING

Schools can opt to train staff members as MHFA Instructors or engage local MHFA Instructors to deliver training to staff, parents and students. Schools are encouraged to collaborate with local organisations and governments when rolling out MHFA training to build capacity and secure funding.

Evaluations of the Teen MHFA course have shown:

Increased confidence

Increased confidence in students to help a peer with a mental health problem

Reduction in stigma

Reduced stigmatising attitudes towards people with mental health problems

Increased help seeking skills

Increased intentions to seek help for a mental health problem

INCREASED SUICIDE PREVENTION SKILLS

INCREASED RECOGNITION AND QUALITY FIRST AID SKILLS IN HELPING A PEER AT RISK OF SUICIDE

TEEN MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID
SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE

For more information on why MHFA is the most effective program for schools, click below:

DOWNLOAD

READY TO LEARN MORE?

YOUTH MHFA

TEEN MHFA

Please note that as a result of social distancing measures, small group public face-to-face Mental Health First Aid courses are currently available in some States and Territories

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU
IMPLEMENT MHFA TRAINING IN YOUR SCHOOL?

There are a number of factors that can help ensure that MHFA training is successfully and sustainably implemented within school settings.

Each school is unique, and the MHFA Community Engagement Team is available to support schools nationally to plan and deliver MHFA training in a coordinated way.

Get in touch with the Community Engagement Team by emailing schools@mhfa.com.au for guidance on your school’s MHFA training journey.

WHAT DO TEACHERS AND STUDENTS SAY
ABOUT MHFA?

Below are comments and feedback from teachers and students who have completed MHFA training.

“I would recommend this course for all educators of young people. I believe that we all should be trained to become Mental Health First Aiders.”

Teacher

“Teaches young kids about the importance of understanding mental illnesses and that it is nothing to be ashamed of.”

Student

"I feel better prepared to recognise, respond to and advise on mental health problems in my students and my school environment.”

Teacher

READY TO GET STARTED?

FIND A LOCAL YOUTH OR TEEN ACCREDITED MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID INSTRUCTOR

BECOME A YOUTH OR TEEN INSTRUCTOR

CONTACT US
FOR SUPPORT

Mental Health First Aid Australia is here to help you coordinate and implement Mental Health First Aid training across the school setting. We encourage you to contact us for support and guidance about planning, training coordination or delivery at any stage.

The Mental Health First Aid Community Engagement Team can be contacted at:
schools@mhfa.com.au
+61 3 9079 0209