Mental Health First Aid
Mental health first aid is a way to assist someone experiencing mental health difficulties. It follows the same principles of first aid used when responding to an emergency physical situation and can be especially useful for those without special training in this area but still want to assist their community members, such as friends, family and coworkers.
Professor Anthony Jorm and Betty Kitchener created this 8-hour training in Australia, which has since been delivered in 24 countries worldwide. This 8-hour course helps participants who are 18 or older identify, understand and respond to someone who may be having mental health or substance use problems. It covers risk factors for such issues as warning signs as well as common treatments and self-help resources.
The course also imparts knowledge on recovery and resiliency. It encourages participants to believe that those suffering from mental health challenges can and do recover, using their strengths for sustained wellbeing.
Helping someone cope with mental health problems can be challenging. Many don’t know how or don’t feel qualified to offer support, which is why MHFA provides training so anyone can provide emotional comfort until professional assistance arrives.
Recognizing when someone’s mood, behavior or energy may be shifting is essential. These shifts may be the first indication that they may be facing a mental health issue.