If you have any questions which are not answered here, please do reach out, we’d be happy to answer them.

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental health first aid (MHFA) is a thoroughly evaluated, evidence informed (in partnership with the University of Melbourne), skills development course. It teaches participants how to assist people who are developing a mental health problem.  These courses are based on evidence of what is best practice mental health first aid, to support someone who has a mental health problem or is experiencing a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received, or the crisis resolves.

Why, when and where did MHFA start?

The Mental Health First Aid Program began in Australia in 2000, in order to improve the level of mental health literacy of the community, a Mental Health First Aid (MHFAtraining course was developed by husband and wife team Betty Kitchener AM and Professor Tony Jorm, following the model that has been successfully applied in 24 countries with conventional first aid. To date, over 4 million people worldwide have been trained.

What is the difference between the standard mental health first aid course, blended workplace courses and the online versions you are now offering?

In response to COVID-19, our Standard Mental Health First Aid course has been adapted to enable participants to complete the course online without needing to attend a training centre or classroom for the instructor-led component. The new course, Blended Online MHFA Community, is offered in two components, a 6-8 Hour eLearning and two 2.5 hour Instructor-led sessions which are to be delivered via video conferencing technology. 

Two of our existing Blended courses have also been adapted to this new two-component 100% online format.

  • Blended Online MHFA Workplace Course
  • Blended Online MHFA Tertiary Course

Upon completing both components of the new Blended Online MHFA Workplace, Blended Online MHFA Community or Blended Online MHFA Tertiary Course will still mean you are eligible to complete the course assessment to become accredited as a MHFAider until we return to our preferred way of delivering these courses, face-to-face, once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. 

How is the MHFA Program evaluated?

Since it began in 2000, Mental Health First Aid Australia has been committed to evaluating its training programs using rigorous scientific studies. Information about all the evaluations published in academic journals can be read here.

Now that the MHFA Program has spread across Australia and other countries, evaluations have been conducted by many different organisations. These studies have been conducted with various MHFA course participants, including public servants in Canberra, farmers in rural New South Wales, Vietnamese Australians and Chinese Australians in Victoria, high school teachers in South Australia, football club leaders in rural Victoria, pharmacists in Sydney, medical and nursing students in Universities across Australia, members of the public in Australia and Sweden, and University staff in Canada.

These evaluation studies have included pre-post studies, controlled trials and one meta analysis, which is a systematic review of the outcome measures of all MHFA evaluation studies. Across all the studies, positive effects and highly statistically significant results have been found, including increased mental health knowledge, decreased stigmatising attitudes, increased confidence to offer help to someone with a mental health problem and increased help-providing behaviours.

Because of the rigorous evaluation designs and excellent outcomes, the MHFA Program has been included in the SAMHSA NREPP, which provides a list of mental health and substance use interventions that meet a high standard of evidence-based programs and practices. Only a few Australian mental health interventions have been included in this list.


What is the Mental Health First Aid Accreditation Program?

An MHFAider Accreditation demonstrates an individual has the skills and knowledge to provide Mental Health First Aid. 

What does it mean exactly to be 'Accredited'?

To be an 'Accredited' MHFAider means a MHFA course participant who passes the assessment is accredited against these guidelines. It is similar to the way National First Aid Standards (which are used to develop and update Red Cross, St John Ambulance, etc. First Aid courses) are held by the Australian Resuscitation Council.