Introduction to Mental Health First Aid Courses
Around 1 in 5 Australian adults experience a common mental illness each year. Understanding how to talk about mental health and help someone in need are important skills. Many people feel uncomfortable and unprepared when thinking about starting a conversation with someone they are concerned about. At a Mental Health First Aid course, you will learn how to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems and learn the skills to feel confident and able to help.
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 in the Workplace
More and more workplaces are realising the impact of mental health problems at work on their people and productivity. Encouraging early help- seeking is one way to promote a mentally healthy workplace. This is where Mental Health First Aid can help.
Mental health first aid is an evidence-based training course which gives your employees the skills and confidence to have supportive conversations with their co-workers and help guide them to professional help if needed. It has been shown to increase knowledge, confidence and helping behaviours, and reduce stigma.
1 in 5 Australian adults experiences a mental illness in any given year. Mental ill health costs Australian workplaces $4.7 billion in absenteeism, $1.6 billion in presenteeism and $146 million in compensation claims per year. Only 22% of full-time workers with signs of common mental illness receive treatment for their mental health problems.
What is covered in an MHFA Standard course?
Learn to recognise common mental health problems, how to provide initial help to someone experiencing a mental health problem using a practical, evidence-based Action Plan, and how to respond in a crisis situation. During the course, participants have the opportunity to practice new skills in a safe environment.
Note: This is an education course designed to teach people the skills to give first aid to others, it is not a therapy or support group.
We now also offer an MHFA blended online course specifically targeting workplaces
The Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace blended course (online learning and face-to-face workshop) teaches managers, supervisors and individuals how to have supportive conversations and assist co-workers experiencing a mental health problem or crisis.
The eLearning component presents an overview of mental health problems and crises. The half-day face-to-face training enables revision and application of knowledge and skills learnt, providing participants with the opportunity to discuss issues pertinent to mental health problems in the workplace, clarify any points of uncertainty from the eLearning component, and apply the MHFA Action Plan to relevant workplace scenarios.
Mental Health First Aid (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 Delphi method guidelines that cover a number of mental health problems, crises and in different contexts. All MHFA courses are then evaluated, using rigorous scientific methods, to ensure they are having a positive impact.
These evaluations consistently show that MHFA training is associated with 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.
The Mental Health First Aid 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 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on their National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).