Mental health first aid is the help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem, or who is in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional treatment is received or the crisis resolves. Mental health first aid strategies are taught in evidence-based training programs authored by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia and conducted by MHFA Instructors across Australia.
The Youth Mental Health First Aid Course is for adults working or living with adolescents (those aged between 12 and 18 years), however, the course can be relevant for those helping people who are a little younger or older. This course is particularly suitable for parents, teachers, sports coaches, and youth workers.
What the course covers:
The course teaches adults how to assist adolescents who are developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. Course participants learn about adolescent development, the signs and symptoms of the common and disabling mental health problems in young people, where and how to get help when a young person is developing a mental illness, what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective, and how to provide first aid in a crisis situation.
The developing mental health problems covered are:
- Eating disorders
- Substance misuse
The mental health crisis situations covered are:
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviours
- Non-suicidal self-injury (sometimes called self-harm)
- Panic attacks
- Traumatic events
- Acute effects of drug or alcohol use
- Severe psychotic states
This is a 14 hour course, which can be delivered as either:
- A 2-day training package (7 hours per day), OR
- As 4 Separate modules (3.5 hours each)
Course participants receive a copy of the Youth MHFA Manual to keep and a Certificate of Completion.
Youth MHFA Manual
A manual is provided to each participant attending this 14-hour MHFA course. This Youth MHFA manual can also be purchased online at the MHFA Shop.
Who can attend a course?
Any interested adult can attend, though please note this course is not for adolescents to attend. This course is also 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 YMHFA 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 can inform you of their individual fees.
An article, written by Youth Programs Manager Dr Claire Kelly, published in the 2010 Spring Issue of newparadigm.