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Why First Aid for Mental Illness?

Mental Health First Aid is the initial help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of a mental health problem, or in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves.

From a Health and Safety perspective, more and more best practice-orientated employers, such as property and infrastructure giant, Lend Lease, are recognising the importance of psychological wellness and are becoming MHFA skilled workplaces with trained Mental Health First Aid Officers.

The MHFA 12-hour course teaches skills in how to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems and how to give appropriate initial help and support or take action in crisis situations such as those involving suicidal behaviour, panic attacks, threatening psychotic behaviour and stress reaction to traumatic events.

During our workplace investigations, Synergy has encountered many instances in which mental illness has likely been a causal factor. Having trained Mental Health First Aid Officers in the workplace has been proven to make a big difference when it comes to early detection and effective response.

What Does a Mental Health First Aid Officer Do?

A Mental Health First Aid Officer is an Accredited Mental Health First Aider appointed in their workplace to;

  1. provide mental health first aid within their work site as needed, at their level of competence and training; and
  2. escalate any matters if required in a prompt and appropriate fashion according to their relevant organisational policy and procedures.

What is a Mental Health First Aid Policy?

A MHFA Policy is designed to set out how mental illness will be addressed by;

  1. describing a commitment to cultivating a workplace where mental health problems are destigmatised and where worker well-being is paramount;
  2. describing the role of Mental Health First Aid Officers;
  3. Committing to cultivating a workforce that knows how to respond appropriately and effectively to people with mental health problems; and
  4. stating the importance and limits of confidentiality

Download the Official MHFA Policy Template

Download the Guide to Implementing Mental Health First Aid in your workplace.

Introducing your MHFA trainer

More About the MHFA program and its development. (

Mental Health First Aid

Course Content

Session One

Part 1

Mental Illness

  • Risk factors, prevalence and impact
  • Spectrum of interventions

Mental Health First Aid

  • The MHFA Action Plan

 Part 2


  • Signs, symptoms and interventions

Session Two

Part 1

The MHFA Action Plan for Depression

  • Crisis first aid for suicidal thoughts and behaviours
  • (Optional: Crisis First Aid for non-suicidal self injury)
  • First aid for depression

 Part 2

Anxiety Problems

  • Signs, symptoms and interventions

Session Three

Part 1

The MHFA Action Plan for Anxiety Problems

  • Crisis first aid for panic attacks
  • Crisis first aid after a traumatic event
  • First aid for anxiety problems

 Part 2


  • Signs, symptoms and interventions

Session Four

Part 1

The MHFA Action Plan for Psychosis

  • Crisis first aid for severe psychotic states
  • First aid for psychosis

Part 2

Substance Use Problems

  • Signs, symptoms and interventions

 The MHFA Action Plan for Substance Use Problems

  • Crisis first aid for severe effects of substance use
  • Crisis first aid for aggressive behaviour

First aid for substance use problems

Important Information

Course Duration


The 12-hour face-to-face course can be run over two consecutive days or over two to four weeks depending on staff availability.

A blended E-Learning course with a half day face-to-face component is also available for employers who cannot release staff for two consecutive full days of training.

Course duration can be tailored to suit your needs.


Good news! No prerequisites required for the Mental Health First Aid training course, however this is an intense two day program.


There is no assessment process for the Mental Health First Aid Course.

Upon Completion

On successful completion of this course, students will be issued with a Certificate of Completion.

How do I get someone trained?

How can the training suit our business

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