Which organisation is delivering this program / service?Mental Health First Aid Australia
What are the aims and objectives of this program / service?
In 2000, in order to improve the level of mental health literacy of the community, a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training course was developed by Betty Kitchener AM and Professor Tony Jorm, following the model that has been successfully applied in many countries with conventional first aid. Mental health first aid is the help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of a mental health problem, or in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves.
The vision of Mental Health First Aid Australia, a dedicated non-for-profit health promotion charity, is a community where everyone has the first aid skills to support people with mental health problems. Our mission is to provide high quality, evidence-based mental health first aid education to everyone.
MHFA courses provide participants with:
1) Skills in how to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems
2) Awareness of the evidenced-based medical, psychological and complementary treatments available
3) Skills in how to give appropriate initial help and support someone experiencing a mental health problem
4) Skills in how to take appropriate action if a crisis situation arises, such as suicidal thoughts and behaviour.
What does delivery of this program / service involve?
MHFA Australia develops, evaluates and provides a variety of training programs and courses:
1) Evidence-based MHFA courses which teach mental health first aid strategies to members of the public.
2) Instructor Training Courses which train and accredit suitable individuals to deliver these MHFA courses to communities and workplaces across Australia.
MHFA Australia has a variety of courses across the lifespan and focused on specialised topics. Our courses include:
12-hour Standard MHFA (delivered to adults to assist other adults)
14-hour Youth MHFA (delivered to adults to assist adolescents)
12-hour Older Person MHFA (delivered to adults to assist older Australians)
14-hour Aboriginal MHFA (delivered to adults to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) NB: This has yet to be reviewed by the Centre of Best Practice Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Clearinghouse.
teen MHFA (delivered to high school students in years 7-9 and years 10-12 to assist their peers)
4-hour MHFA for the Suicidal Person (delivered to adults to assist someone experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviours)
4-hour MHFA for Non-suicidal Self-injury (delivered to adults to assist someone engaging in non-suicidal self-injury).
MHFA Australia has a de-centralised model of delivery, which has enabled it to rapidly spread across Australia. MHFA Australia conducts on average 20 Instructor Training courses across Australia per year to accredit suitable individuals to become MHFA Instructors via a rigorous 5-day Instructor Training Program. There are different selection criteria for entry into Instructor Training depending on the course that an individual wishes to be accredited to deliver.
Over 1,600 people are currently accredited as MHFA Instructors. On average 15 MHFA courses are delivered per day across Australia. More than 700,000 Australians have completed an MHFA course since 2000.