Mental health first aid is the help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem, or who is in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional treatment is received or the crisis resolves. Mental health first aid strategies are taught in evidence-based training programs authorised by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia and conducted by accredited MHFA Instructors across Australia.
The Youth Mental Health First Aid Course is for adults working or living with adolescents, those aged between approximately 12 and 18 years. However, the course can be relevant for those helping people who are a little younger or older. This course is particularly suitable for parents, teachers, sports coaches, and youth workers.
The course teaches adults how to assist adolescents who are developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. Course participants learn about adolescent development, the signs and symptoms of the common and disabling mental health problems in young people, where and how to get help when a young person is developing a mental illness, what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective, and how to provide first aid in a crisis situation.
Mental health problems that are covered in this course are:
- substance use problems
- eating disorders
Mental health crisis situations covered in this course are:
- suicidal thoughts and behaviours
- non-suicidal self-injury (sometimes referred to as deliberate self-harm)
- panic attacks
- traumatic events
- severe effects of drug or alcohol use
- severe psychotic states
- aggressive behaviours
All mental health first aid courses use the MHFA Action Plan ALGEE.