Why MHFA | Mental Health First Aid

Why Mental Health First Aid?

MHFA Training really makes a difference

Approximately 20% of Australian adults experience a common mental illness each year. Completing an MHFA Course will help you to develop the skills to support a friend, family member or co-worker.

Having mental health first aid skills means that you can assist someone developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis and make a real difference to your community.

Mental Health First Aid is a thoroughly evaluated, evidence informed, skills development course for community members

MHFA courses are based on evidence of what is best practice mental health first aid to support someone who has a mental health problem or is experiencing a mental health crisis. This evidence has been developed in partnership with the University of Melbourne, through developing guidelines that cover a number of mental health problems, crises and in different contexts. Once developed, courses are evaluated to assess the outcomes.

Research has shown that
MHFA training is associated with:

KnowledgeImproved knowledge of mental illnesses, their treatments and appropriate first aid strategies.
ConfidenceConfidence in providing first aid to a person experiencing a mental health problem.
De-stigmatisingDecreases in stigmatising attitudes.
Increased supportIncreases in the amount and type of support provided to others.

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MHFA courses are based on evidence of what works


MHFA Australia Guidelines give an overview of the best practice in providing mental health first aid to support people with mental health problems. The MHFA courses are based on these guidelines.

The guidelines are developed using the Delphi consensus method, where consumers, carers, health professionals and researchers work together to agree what techniques and skills are best practice. The guidelines have been developed in partnership with researchers from the University of Melbourne.

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MHFA Australia partners with universities to research the best ways of providing mental health first aid and to evaluate courses.

All MHFA courses are evaluated, using rigorous scientific methods, to ensure they are having a positive impact.

MHFA Research

Why MHFA training

Innovative and world leadingMental Health First Aid is a global innovative program that was inspired by the successful physical first aid model. Developed in Australia in 2000, it is regularly updated to ensure that is drawing upon the latest evidence base. The program is available in over 25 countries.
Lived experienceMHFA courses are based on the expert consensus, of people with lived experience of mental health problems and professionals, on what support a mental health first aider should provide. MHFA Australia has worked in partnership with researchers at the University of Melbourne, to develop guidelines for action that cover a number of mental health problems and crises.
Internationally acclaimedThe MHFA Program has been recognised with a number of Australian and international awards, including the THeMHS Medal. It has been recognised in the UK as an example of radical efficiency and has been listed in the USA by SAMSHA on their National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

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Comments and feedback from previous participants

As awareness of mental health increases its great to be able to do a course like this that dispels many myths and better equips us to be able to respond better.

I feel more confident in responding to mental health problems that occur at school with students, parents, volunteers and staff.

This was one of the most interesting, engaging and informative courses I have ever completed.