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What is Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

You may have heard of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) but don’t really know what it involves or if it’s right for you or your organisation.

MHFA is an evidence-based training course designed to follow the same protocol as traditional first aid. Much the same as physical first aid training, MHFA is open to anyone and does not require prior knowledge or experience. There are 2 day, 1 day and half day courses, offering differing levels of Knowledge and skills, all increasing awareness and reducing stigma.

MHFA Two Day course sets out to increase a person’s confidence to assist someone experiencing a mental health issue or crisis and guide them sensitively and effectively to a place of support.  Participants learn how to recognize signs and symptoms and how to have a mental health conversation. Courses are suitable for individuals, communities, or workplaces, whether your motivation is for yourself, friends and family, or employees. They cover a range of mental health conditions, such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD and suicide. The course is interactive with lots of opportunities to practice skills and increase understanding through a variety of one to one and group activities. At the end of every course you will take away a comprehensive manual which includes information on conditions, ways to support people and services.

MHFA can be delivered face to face or online via a mix of pre-course learning on a dedicated hub and four instructed led interactive live sessions.

MHFA aims, to not only reduce the stigma associated with mental health but also assist everyone to manage their own stress levels, support their well-being and feel able to speak out if they require support. We know how to look after our physical health but it’s just as important to learn how to look after our mental health-MHFA will equip you with tools to look after your well-being. In turn, increasing your confidence to reach out to others. And because MHFA is an internationally recognized, certification-based training, participants who successfully complete the two-day course, gain a Mental Health First Aider certificate. Talking about mental health doesn't need to be awkward

  • Start small. People find talking in person difficult, and that's understandable- if this is the case you could send a text, leave a note- just keep reaching out

  • Find a good time & place. Sometimes it's easier to talk side by side rather than face to face- going for a walk or while your cooking can ease tension.

  • Find a time you won’t be disturbed if possible. 

  • Ask questions (gently!) encourage sharing rather than making assumptions. Be open and honest- don’t make promises you can’t keep and remember you don’t need to have all the answers- listening is a powerful tool that makes the difference.

  • Treat them the same. If someone has a mental illness, they are still the person they were before- talk about common interests and everyday things. 

  • Be patient there will be good days and bad days but having a friend who cares can make all the difference.

Feedback from recent courses:

  • Tracy was so lovely and engaging - we all learned loads and feel very empowered after the course. It was a great experience and still every interactive even online

  • Tracy with a very good instructor and very inspirational. I feel she has given me the tools, knowledge and more importantly confidence to be a MHFAider.

  • This course has help me get a better understanding of how to support others while also taking care of my own mental health. I will 100% recommend this course to anyone who wants a better understanding of mental health. Thank you to Tracy.

Get in touch to discuss booking a mental health first aid course for your organisation

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