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Approximately 1 in 5 Australian adults experience a mental illness each year

Mental illness does not discriminate and affects people from a diverse range of backgrounds, ages and life stages. 

The impact of mental illness can be severe and long-lasting, and can affect a person’s education, work and relationships. Some mental illness can contribute to premature death and others are a major cause of disability.

What is Mental Health?

It might be helpful to think of our ‘mental health’ being on a continuum rather than someone being either mentally ill or mentally well.  A range of factors including life circumstances, stressful events and genetics can affect how we move back and forth on this continuum.

We all experience periods when we feel anxious, stressed, overwhelmed or sad. These are normal emotions and may be an appropriate response to events that have happened. However, when these feelings start to get in the way of a person’s ability to live their life and function properly day to day, this can be a sign that someone needs some additional support and possibly professional help.

Of the Australians who experience common mental health illnesses, 65% do not seek professional help. Some of the barriers that can stop an individual from getting the professional help they need include a sense of hopelessness, fear, shame, and distrust of medical professionals or the help seeking process.

Although mental health and wellness are topics that are becoming more common and openly discussed, many people still find it difficult to “know what to say”, or struggle to find the best way to approach someone who may be experiencing a mental health problem.

They may worry about saying the wrong thing or perhaps they lack the confidence to reach out to a person who is not doing well.

That is where Mental Health
First Aid comes in

Mental Health First Aid is all about teaching a person the practical skills needed to more confidently assist a family member, friend or co-worker who might be developing a mental illness or who is experiencing a mental health crisis.

Mental Health First Aid courses teach you how to listen and respond and offer support to someone experiencing a mental health problem.

What’s more, you’ll be able to actively reduce stigma in your community, by responding appropriately to myths and misunderstandings about mental illness.

Mental Health First Aid courses are delivered in a variety of formats, including:


Delivered over a 2-day course with an Accredited Instructor


Self-paced eLearning followed by a 4-hour face to face session led by an Accredited Instructor


Blended Online

Self-paced eLearning followed by 2 x 2.5-hour video conferencing sessions led by an Accredited Instructor


Learn more about Mental Health First Aid Australia and the courses we offer

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Developed in Australia, Mental Health First Aid training has now been adopted by 24 countries around the world.

Our award-winning, evidence-based training courses empower and equip individuals with the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to support a friend, family member or co-worker experiencing a mental health problem.

Global Movement


Evidence Based



Nearly one million Australians have now been trained in Mental Health First Aid and as we approach that milestone we continue to call on individuals all over the country to learn the skills that make a difference.

Ready to take the first step?

Find a course the course that suits you and become a Mental Health First Aider.
Learn more about Mental Health First Aid Australia and the courses we offer

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