Mental Health First Aid

What is Mental Health First Aid?

First aid is the help given to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained.

Mental Health First Aid is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis resolves.


The most common and disabling mental illnesses are depression, anxiety, substance use and psychotic disorders. Mental illnesses are very common. In any one year about one in five adult Australians experience a mental illness. Many people suffer a mental illness for a long time before they seek help. Furthermore, alcohol and drug problems frequently occur with depression, anxiety and psychosis.


While people often know a lot about common physical health problems, there is widespread stigma associated with mental health problems. These stigmatising attitudes prevent people from seeking help early and seeking the best sort of help. It also prevents people providing appropriate support to colleagues and family members, simply because they do not know how.

In order to help people provide initial support to someone with a mental health problem, Mental Health First Aid Courses have been developed by Betty Kitchener and Professor Tony Jorm. The aim of these courses is to improve the mental health literacy of members of the Australian community. Mental Health First Aid Australia is a national not-for-profit charity focused on mental health training and research. More info here.

Mental Health First Aid courses are conducted in every state and territory of Australia. The participants have been very varied, including teachers, nurses, case managers, support workers, social welfare staff, employment agencies staff, personnel staff, members of the general public, and staff of many Commonwealth State and Local Government Departments.


The Mental Health First Aid Course can be conducted at your own venue, specifically for your staff. The advantages of conducting training in this way is that I am able to cater more specifically to the particular needs of your staff and organisation, within the parameters of the course. It is also easier for you to enable a greater number of staff to attend the course, which will be of great benefit. Please contact me via the form below and we can discuss possible dates for a course. No obligation of course.


I can tailor make a training package to suit the specific needs of your organisation. Recently I have conducted training for a range of organisations including the Catholic Schools Office, Centrelink, DADHC (Department of Aged, Disability and Home Care), among others. I can conduct training for anything from one hour, right up to two day courses and more. The advantage of having tailor made training is that the specific needs of your organisation can be catered to, at your own venue, at a time to suit you. The range of topics available include all the facets of mental health, from depression and suicide, through to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Please contact me via the form below to discuss possible training solutions for your organisation.

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