Mental Health First Aid

in the Victorian Department of Education

About Mental Health First Aid

Mental health first aid is the initial help offered to someone who is experiencing a mental health problem or a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received, or the crisis resolves.

Mental Health First Aid®Australia offers a range of early-intervention education courses that equip teaching, support staff, parents and students with the skills to recognise and respond if someone they know experiences a mental health problem or crisis situation. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA™) training also helps improve outcomes and help seeking behaviours for those affected by mental health problems.

Developed in Australia, MHFA training courses are delivered by independent Instructors, who complete intensive training to become Mental Health First Aid Accredited. Our unique model allows Instructors to draw upon their diverse backgrounds, unique personal and professional life experiences, local knowledge and more, to deliver impactful MHFA training in the school setting. With a network of more than 2,400 Instructors across the country, schools can choose an Instructor that best reflects their specific needs.

Providing Mental Health First Aid training in schools helps whole school communities to: 

 

Intervene Early

Recognise the warning signs of mental health problems 

Provide Skills

Provide the skills needed to speak to a young person about their mental health 

Respond in a Crisis

Respond in crisis situations where a young person may be at risk of harm 

Reduce Stigma

Reduce stigma and increase support for people with mental health problems 

Mental Health First Aid in Schools

Adolescence is a time of important change and development. It is also a time when mental health problems such as depression and anxiety can first emerge. During the high school years, mental health problems are among the leading causes of falling grades, problems with friends and relationships and substance use or abuse, and they can have a lifelong impact. That is why early intervention is so important. 

Schools are an amazing source of support for adolescents and their families, but they can also be a source of strain or stress, especially for young people who may be experiencing mental health problems.

This is where Youth and Teen Mental Health First Aid training courses can help. 

Mental Health First Aid Australia offers a range of courses for different audiences and settings. There are three MHFA training courses currently published by the Victorian Department of Education and Training on the Mental Health Menu: 

1. YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID

For adults to support young people 

2. YOUTH ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID

For adults to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people 

3. TEEN MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID

For teenagers to offer peer-to-peer support

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Course Overview

Using a practical, evidence-based action plan, Youth MHFA equips teachers, support staff and parents with the knowledge and skills to recognise 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 mental health first aid in crisis situations.

Delivery Modes and Costs

There are three ways that Youth MHFA training can be delivered: face-to-face, blended or fully online. Training is delivered by Youth Accredited MHFA Instructors who work independently and set their own fees. Prices may vary based on the training delivery mode you choose, but costs are approximately $200 – $300 per participant. Schools will need to liaise with Instructors directly for a course delivery quote.

Face-to-Face

Face-to-face Instructor-led sessions.

Typically delivered over 2 days.

Can be broken into 4 x 3.5-hour sessions.

Blended Face-to-Face

Involves two components:

1. Self-paced eLearning (typically 4 hours)

2. Face-to-face Instructor led sessions (typically 1 day)

NOTE: Both Components 1 & 2 need to be completed within a 3-month period.

Online

Involves two components:

1. Self-paced eLearning (typically 4 hours)

2. Online Instructor led sessions (typically 3 x 2.5 hours)

NOTE: Both Components 1 & 2 need to be completed within a 3-month period.

Youth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid 

Course Overview

Using a practical, evidence-based action plan, the Youth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid (Youth AMHFA) course equips teachers, support staff and parents with the knowledge and skills to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people who may be experiencing a mental health problem or mental health crisis.  

This course grounds participants in social and emotional well-being from an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander perspective and explores strengths-based communication tips to engage with and get support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. 

Delivery Modes and Costs:

There are three ways that Youth MHFA training can be delivered: face-to-face, blended or fully online. Training is delivered by Accredited Youth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MHFA Instructors, who work independently and set their own fees. Prices may vary based on the training delivery mode you choose, but costs are approximately $220 – $400 per participant. Schools will need to liaise with Instructors directly for a course delivery quote.

Face-to-Face

Face-to-face Instructor-led sessions.

Typically delivered over 2 – 2.5 days.

Blended Face-to-Face

Involves two components:

1. Self-paced eLearning (typically 7 hours)

2. Face-to-face Instructor led sessions (1 x 5 hour session including breaks)

NOTE: Both Components 1 & 2 need to be completed within a 3-month period.

Online

Involves two components:

1. Self-paced eLearning (typically 7 hours)

2. Online Instructor led sessions (1 x 5 hour session including breaks)

NOTE: Both Components 1 & 2 need to be completed within a 3-month period.

Teen Mental Health First Aid

Course Overview

The Teen MHFA course teaches students in Years 7-9 and 10-12 how to offer support to their peers and seek appropriate help from a trained adult where required. The course focuses on improving the mental health literacy of a whole student cohort, to reduce the stigmatising behaviours and attitudes that often prevent teens from getting the help and support they need.

The course educates teenagers on how to recognise changes in a friends’ or classmates thinking, feelings or behaviour that may indicate the presence of a mental health problem, how to offer initial mental first aid support and how to connect them with a trusted adult.

Please note that is it is a requirement that 10 percent of school staff are trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid, prior to implementing Teen Mental Health First Aid for students. 

Delivery Modes and Costs

Teen MHFA training is delivered to an entire cohort of students (for example every Year 8 in the school) via 3 x face-to-face classroom sessions led by an Accredited Teen MHFA Instructor. Please note that MHFA Instructors work independently and set their own fees, but schools can expect to pay an average of $750 per classroom. Schools will need to liaise with Instructors directly for a course delivery quote. 

Face-to-Face

Face-to-face Instructor-led sessions:

  • Junior Teen (Years 7-9) 3 x 60min classroom sessions
  • Senior Teen (Years 10-12) 3 x 75min classroom sessions

Teen MHFA training must be delivered to an entire cohort of students (I.e. to every student in a year level) and can only be delivered in settings where at least 10% of staff have completed a Youth MHFA course.

Booking an MHFA Course

Booking Options

There are two options for booking an MHFA training course for your school:

1. Engage an Instructor to deliver MHFA training specifically for your school, or;

2. Enrol a staff member directly into a publicly listed MHFA training course

Option 1: Engaging an Instructor

Mental Health First Aid Australia has a network of over 2,400 trained and accredited Instructors who deliver MHFA training courses across the country.

While trained and accredited by MHFA, our network of Instructors works independently and therefore have the autonomy and flexibility to set their own fees for face-to-face courses and Instructor-led sessions.

To engage an Instructor and obtain a course delivery quote for your school:

1. Search the Mental Health First Aid Australia website for the right Instructor: https://mhfa.com.au/instructors

2. Filter by state and accreditation type (e.g. Youth MHFA, Blended Youth MHFA, Youth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MHFA, Blended Youth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MHFA, Teen MHFA)

3. Utilise Keywords (from bio) filter to search for Instructors with specific interests or expertise.

4. You can also use the accreditation filter to find  Instructors with ‘Master’ and ‘Principal Master’ status. These are Instructors who are particularly experienced and active in their communities.

5. Contact your preferred Instructor for course delivery quote, availability and other information.

Option 2: Enrol in a public course

Schools can also opt to enrol staff directly into public MHFA training courses.

These courses are available via our Course Calendar.

To find a course:

1. Select the state e.g., Victoria and course delivery mode e.g. face-to-face delivery.

2. Select the postcode or city where required to narrow the search. NOTE: if you are considering an online delivery option, you can filter by any state.

4. Select the course type (e.g., Youth MHFA, Blended Youth MHFA, Youth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MHFA, Blended Youth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MHFA).

5. Select the course to view course details, costs and enrolment instructions.

Please note: This pathway is not available for Teen MHFA training.

Training an Accredited MHFA Instructor

Mental Health First Aid Australia trains and accredits eligible individuals as Accredited MHFA Instructors, who then have the skills and materials to deliver MHFA training courses in their school communities, and many schools are choosing to nominate staff to become Youth or Teen MHFA Instructors.

Mental Health First Aid Australia’s unique Instructor training model is a cost-effective and sustainable way to embed MHFA training within school communities. By funding staff members to become accredited MHFA Instructors, MHFA training courses can then be delivered to staff, parents and students on an on‑going basis.

Eligibility

Instructor training applicants need to demonstrate they meet the following selection criteria:

  1. Good knowledge of mental health problems and their treatments
  2. Personal or professional experience supporting people with mental illnesses
  3. Respectful attitudes towards people with mental health problems
  4. Enthusiasm to deliver MHFA courses
  5. Excellent group facilitation and communication skills
  6. Knowledge of mental health services
  7. Good interpersonal skills
  8. A business plan or organisational support to conduct MHFA courses
  9. Hold a valid Working With Children Check from your state / territory of residence
  10. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.
Cost

Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training

Cost: $3,550 per person

Length: 5 x days face-to-face training

Additional considerations: Suitably experienced

Standard, Older Person, and/or Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander MHFA Instructors are eligible to attend the first 3 days of this course if they have already delivered 3 full MHFA courses in their existing accreditation(s), for a cost of $1,980 per person.

 

Youth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training (including Up-skill to deliver the course via Blended formats)

Cost: $2,180 per person

Length: 3 x days face-to-face training

Additional considerations: This accreditation is only available to suitably experienced staff members who are already accredited to deliver Edition 3.1 of the adult Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander MHFA course (including upskill to deliver via Blended formats).

 

Teen Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training

Cost: $2,110 per person

Length: 4 x days face-to-face training

Additional considerations: All participants of Teen MHFA Instructor training must attend the full 4-days, regardless of other MHFA accreditations.

Please note; these fees cover: 

  • Attendance at the course 
  • All course and program delivery materials (USB, Kit, Teaching Notes, Mental Health First Aid Manual) for each participant 
  • Ongoing technical assistance for participants upon becoming accredited Instructors 
  • Ongoing resources and professional development support 
  • The first 12-month annual Instructor accreditation fee. 
Additional costs and accreditation requirements

To maintain their accreditation Instructors are required to: 

  • Regularly deliver MHFA courses (a minimum of two courses a year) 
  • Provide each participant in their course with a MHFA manual (purchased through our shop by an Accredited MHFA Instructor). 
  • Undertake regular continuing professional development. 
  • Pay an annual membership fee of $110. 

Up-skills to deliver Blended MHFA courses costs $200 per Instructor.

Apply for a Public Instructor Training Course

Public Instructor Training Courses are suitable for individuals who are wanting to train as an MHFA Instructor, or for schools who are planning to train a smaller cohort of Instructors (i.e. less than 10). 

Click here to learn more about how to become a Mental Health First Aid Instructor.

Click here to access the Instructor Training Course calendar.

Apply for a Private Instructor Training

For schools who are looking to train a group of 10 or more staff to become accredited MHFA Instructors, a Private Instructor Training course can be a cost-effective option. 

For Private Instructor Training Course enquiries, please email schools@mhfa.com.au.

Need Support?

Youth and Teen MHFA enquiries

schools@mhfa.com.au

(03) 9079 0209

Youth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MHFA enquiries

 amhfa@mhfa.com.au

(03) 9079 0219

Copyright © MHFA Australia 2022