Older Person Mental Health First Aid

Equips adults with the knowledge, skills and confidence to recognise, understand and respond to a friend, family member, or another adult aged 65+, experiencing a mental health problem or mental health crisis.

INTERVENE EARLY

Recognise the warning signs of mental health problems in older adults.

OFFER SUPPORT

Learn the skills to have an open, supportive conversation about mental health.

RESPOND IN A CRISIS

Respond across a range of crisis situations where an older adult may be at risk of harm.

REDUCE STIGMA

Reduce stigma and increase support for older adults experiencing and living with mental health problems.

The Older Person Mental Health First Aid course teaches participants who work with, care for or support adults aged 65+ how to provide initial support to someone who may be experiencing a mental health problem or mental health crisis, until professional help is received or the crisis resolves. 

Course participants learn about the signs and symptoms of common mental health problems in older adults, how to recognise and respond to an emerging or worsening mental health problem, and the treatments and supports available. 

Using a practical, evidence-based action plan, course participants learn how to approach someone they are concerned about and initiate a conversation about those concerns. Participants also learn how to offer initial support and information and how to encourage the person to seek professional help or other supports. 

Adults who complete the course become Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAiders), equipped with the knowledge, confidence, and skills to provide someone with mental health information and support when it matters most. 

This course is recognised by Suicide Prevention Australia as a safe, high-quality, and effective suicide prevention program. Learn more.

Watch this short video to learn more about our course.

Course information

Delivery format

Face-to-Face

Duration

12 hours

Take the next step

For individuals or small groups

For larger groups

Why MHFA?

Evidence-based: All Mental Health First Aid courses are based on guidelines that are informed by people with lived experience, their caregivers, and mental health professionals.

Rigorously evaluated: Evaluations consistently show that Mental Health First Aid training improves participants’ knowledge of mental illnesses and their treatments, and confidence in providing mental health first aid to individuals.

Skills-based: Teaches the practical skills, knowledge, and confidence to make a difference.

Internationally recognised: Over 6 million people trained in Mental Health First Aid across 25 countries.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course participants will be able to: 

  • Recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems in older adults. 
  • Identify the risk factors associated with mental illness in older adults. 
  • Understand the prevalence and impact of mental illnesses in older adults. 
  • Demonstrate awareness of the range of evidence-based treatments available for mental illness in older people. 
  • Know the barriers to help-seeking and how to overcome these. 
  • Apply mental health first aid skills, and know how to initiate a mental health conversation, using a practical, evidence-based action plan. 
  • Know how to assess and assist in a crisis. 
  • Gain an understanding of the local resources available to someone experiencing mental health problems. 
  • Apply self-care practices as a Mental Health First Aider.

Suitability

Suitable for individuals, workplaces of all sizes and volunteer and community-based groups. 

Any adult (aged 18+) can attend. 

Course Content

This course covers common and disabling mental health problems and crisis situations. Participants learn how to apply mental health first aid to adults across a range of situations, including: 

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Confusion and dementia 
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviours 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Delirium 
  • Behaviours of concern and unsafe behaviours caused by confusion 

Duration & Format

The 12-hour course is delivered face-to-face via: 

  • 2 x 6-hour sessions over 2 days 
  • 4 x 3-hour sessions over 4 days 

All sessions are led by an MHFA trained and Licensed Instructor. 

Accreditation

You can complete the short assessment at the end of a course to become an Accredited Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider). 

Accreditations are valid for 3 years. 

Learn more about the role of an MHFAider

Course Fees

Mental Health First Aid Australia does not employ the Instructors that it trains and licenses. Therefore, each Licensed MHFA Instructor has the autonomy and flexibility to set their own course fees. Course fees do vary for many reasons which can include course type, individual Instructor qualifications and credentials, course venue, course location (metropolitan vs regional locations), course catering and any course participant subsidies that may be available as a result of a community grant.


Very engaging, easy to assess what was being taught. Will surely be a big part of what I do at work and in my personal life.

Grateful to have had the opportunity to be one of the first to complete the Mental first Aid for Older Persons course. The Instructor’s style was warm and engaging but very informative.


This session was very informative and relevant to my current job in aged care in the community.

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