Youth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid
Equips adults who teach, care for or support young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to recognise, understand and respond to a young person who may be experiencing a mental health problem or mental health crisis.
Recognise the warning signs of mental health problems in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
Learn the skills to have an open, supportive conversation about mental health with an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander young person.
RESPOND IN A CRISIS
Respond across a range of crisis situations where an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander young person may be risk of harm.
Reduce stigma and increase support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people experiencing and living with mental health problems.
The Youth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid course teaches participants how to provide initial support to an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander young person (aged 12–18) who may be experiencing a mental health problem or mental health crisis, until professional support is received or the crisis resolves.
This strengths-based course has been developed and reviewed in consultation with Australia’s First Nations people. The course ensures participants are grounded in social and emotional well-being from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective, equipping them with the skills to provide mental health first aid in a culturally safe and informed way.
Course participants learn about the signs and symptoms of common mental health problems in adolescents, how to recognise and respond to an emerging or worsening mental health problem, and the supports available, including cultural context to community-based care.
Using a practical, evidence-based action plan, course participants learn how to approach a young person 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 young person to seek professional, cultural and other supports.
Adults who complete the course go on to 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.
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.
Culturally appropriate & effective: Research has found Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid courses to be culturally appropriate and effective.
The learning outcomes for this course are based on cultural knowledge and understandings for adults supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:
- Recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people
- Use an evidence-based action plan to initiate a mental health first aid conversation with a young Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, in a culturally safe and informed way
- Assess for a range of crisis situations and provide initial support
- Understand the prevalence and impact of mental illnesses, risk factors and treatments and supports available
- Distinguish between normal and expected changes during adolescence and development of mental health problems
- Gain an understanding of the local and cultural supports and resources available to a young person experiencing mental health problems
- Understand the scope of your role as a Mental Health First Aider
- Apply self-care practices as a Mental Health First Aider.
This course is suitable for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous individuals, workplaces, schools, and volunteer and community-based groups who support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
Any adult (aged 18+) can attend.
This course covers common and disabling mental health problems and crisis situations. Participants learn how to apply mental health first aid to young people across a range of situations, including:
- Eating disorders
- Substance use problems
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviours
- Panic attacks
- Non-suicidal self-injury
The course considers local perspectives and experiences and utilises lived-experience stories and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander photography, film, and art works. This representation matters and leads to better outcomes for those participating in training and the people they go on to support.
Duration & Format
The course can be delivered in 1 of 3 ways:
Face-to-face: 2 x 7 sessions over 2 days, with optional additional activities and up to 2 extra modules (up to an additional half day) to tailor the course to the needs of the participants.
Blended Face-to-Face: Self-paced eLearning (7 hours), followed by a 5-hour face-to-face session
Blended Online: Self-paced eLearning (7 hours), followed by a 5-hour video conferencing session
All sessions are led by an MHFA trained and Licensed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Instructor.
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.
The Instructor was very authentic in her understanding of her culture and relating the topics covered with empathy and appreciation of the different levels of cultural awareness. I very much liked going through the different scenarios.
The course was informative and the workbook was well-developed. The videos and activities associated with these were really beneficial throughout the course and allowed for discussion and clarification from the Instructor.
This course has a lot of information and was simple – straight to the point and easy to understand.