Mental Health First Aid is a 12-hour training course designed to give members of the public key skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it does build mental health literacy, helping the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness.
Just as CPR training helps a layperson with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a layperson assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis, such as contemplating suicide. In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives. Mental Health First Aiders learn a single 5-step strategy that includes assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, and identifying appropriate professional help and other supports. Participants are also introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems, engage in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families; and learn about evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.
Mental Health First Aid was created in Australia in 2001 by Professor Tony Jorm, a respected mental health literacy professor, and Betty Kitchener, a nurse specializing in health education. The program is auspiced at the ORYGEN Research Center at the University of Melbourne, Australia. (http://www.mhfa.com.au/)
Yes, in fact, the strong evidence base is the very reason the National Council selected this particular program. Five published studies in Australia show that the program saves lives, improves the mental health of the individual administering care and the one receiving it, expands knowledge of mental illnesses and their treatments, increases the services provided and reduces overall stigma by improving mental health literacy. One trial of 301 randomized participants found that those who trained in Mental Health First Aid have greater confidence in providing help to others, greater likelihood of advising people to seek professional help, improved concordance with health professionals about treatments, and decreased stigmatizing attitudes. Unexpectedly, the study also found that Mental Health First Aid improved the mental health of the participants themselves.
For further evidence supporting the implementation of Mental Health First Aid, please see the Evaluation section of the Australian Mental Health First Aid website: http://www.mhfa.com.au/evaluation.shtml
Click here for schedule of upcoming courses or call 210.355.6096
Personal or corporate checks are payable to MHFASA and mailed to:
P.O. Box 780625
San Antonio, TX 78278-0625
Online payment is available through Paypal
Did You Know?
You are more likely to encounter a person in an emotional or mental crisis than someone having a heart attack. Mental disorders are more common than heart disease and cancer combined.
Myth: Mental illness is something that only affects others and not us, our family, or our friends.
Fact: An estimated 1 in 4 Americans have a diagnosable mental illness. Mental health crises occur frequently in your workplace, church, family, school, and community.
WHO SHOULD TAKE THE YOUTH COURSE?
The course is designed for adults whom regularly interact with adolescents, but may also be appropriate for older adolescents (16 and older) so as to encourage youth peer to peer interaction. Anyone who regularly works or interacts with youth – teachers, athletic coaches, mentors, juvenile justice professionals – may find the course content useful. The core Mental Health First Aid course has been successfully offered to a variety of audiences including hospital staff, employers and business leaders, faith communities, law enforcement, and the general public.
Note: Youth Mental Health First Aid is not specifically designed for parents of youth with mental health challenges. Although parents & families may find the course content useful, the course provides a basic level of information and guidance, rather than more in-depth information on navigating the healthcare system, which parents may wish to explore.
To submit a request for training at your organization or to learn more about MHFA, contact: Debra.Cox@mhfasa.org or 210.355.6096
Still have questions?
Please contact us anytime. We look forward to hearing from you!