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Curtin University

Mental Health First Aid Training

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a 12 hour course conducted over 2 days, teaching people how to provide initial support to someone experiencing a mental health crisis or developing a mental illness.

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What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem, or who is in a mental health crisis (e.g., the person is suicidal or has had a traumatic experience). Like physical first aid, mental health first aid is given until the person receives professional help or until the crisis resolves.

Mental health first aid strategies are taught in evidence-based training courses authored by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia and delivered by accredited MHFA Instructors across the country. The Counselling Service offers the Standard MHFA Course as authored by MHFA Australia, delivered by Instructors who are currently accredited by MHFA Australia.

The Standard Mental Health First Aid course teaches adults (18 years and over) how to provide initial support to adults who are developing a mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis.

The most common and disabling mental health problems are: Depression, anxiety disorders, and psychotic disorders.

Furthermore, alcohol and drug problems frequently occur with depression, anxiety and psychosis. Please see Identifying mental health problems and conditions for information on how to recognise the signs of these common disorders.

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About the MHFA training program

The Mental Health First Aid Program was developed in 2000 by Betty Kitchener, an educator and mental health consumer, working in partnership with Anthony Jorn, a mental health researcher at the University of Canberra. By the end of 2012 there were more than 100 instructors across Australia and over 200,000 people have received Mental health First Aid training. 

The MHFA program became part of the ORYGEN Research Centre at the University of Melbourne for several years, but is now run by Mental health First Aid Australia, which is a not-for-profit company. Mental health instructors need to be re-accredited each year in order to deliver the MHFA courses. The program has gradually spread to many different countries, and has been translated into different languages to different cultures.

A number of specialty courses have been developed in Australia to suit specific groups in the Australian population (eg. youth, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders, nursing students, and medical students to name but a few). These courses have their own manual and are only run by instructors who are accredited in these specialty areas.

Please visit the Mental Health First Aid website for more information.

The Counselling Service is currently only providing courses in Standard Mental Health First Aid. These are offered to all Curtin University staff.

More than 200 staff have attended the SMHFA courses so far, and the feedback has been very positive about the knowledge and skills they have acquired.

Please visit the Mental Health First Aid website for more information.

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MHFA at Curtin

Counselling Services runs the Standard Mental Health First Aid course, which is open to all staff of Curtin University.

Upcoming MHFA Programs:

Course 1: 15th & 16th February, 2018

Course 2: 14th & 15th March, 2018

Course 3: TBC

Time: 8.45am- 4.30pm (All Days)

Location: Building 109, Level 2 (Counselling & Disability Services)

Cost: $250 inclusive of all materials

Please Note: you must attend both days to gain a certificate of attendance.


Booking: Please email Clare Sawyer to request a booking link.

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