Become a Mental Health First Aider
Benefits of Mental Health First Aid training:
Mental Health First Aid feedback
Frequently Asked Questions
Mental Health First Aid is the initial help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem, or who is in a mental health crisis (for example, the person is suicidal or has had a traumatic experience). Mental health first aiders are usually members of the general community and do not diagnose or treat mental health problems. Like physical first aid, MHFA is the help and support given until the person receives professional help or until the crisis resolves.
Mental Health First Aid presented by the Arts Wellbeing Collective is exclusively available to members of the Collective and/or people who work in the performing arts industry in Victoria, Australia.
Mental Health First Aid Australia offers publicly available courses, find upcoming sessions in your state or territory here.
At different times, AWC offers the following face-to-face or blended online courses:
- Standard Mental Health First Aid
- Youth Mental Health First Aid
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid
Face-to-face training takes place over 12-14 hours across 2 days.
Blended online training involves 6-8 hours of participant pre-learning followed by 4 hours of instructor-led video conferencing over 2 days.
There is no fee to attend the course. The cost of the course and all materials is covered by WorkSafe Victoria through the Mental Health Improvement Fund, and online courses have been made possible through the Arts Centre Melbourne COVID-19 emergency appeal. It is highly unusual for this accredited course to be offered without cost to the attendee. We ask that you only submit an Expression of Interest if you are confident you will be able to attend and actively participate in the course.
Developing mental health problems covered include: depression, anxiety problems, psychosis and substance use problems.
Mental health crisis situations covered include: suicidal thoughts and behaviours, panic attacks, traumatic events, severe effects of drug or alcohol use, severe psychotic states, and aggressive behaviours.
Yes, of course, but we recommend exercising informed consent prior to applying. This means learning about the course and deciding if it’s the right time to do it for you.
While lived experience with mental health problems can give you a valuable perspective as a Mental Health First Aider, it is preferable that you have experienced good mental health for the 12 months prior to submitting an Expression of Interest to attend the training.
The course can be intense and exhausting for participants. You and your mental health professional are the experts on your personal mental health, so we encourage you to carefully consider whether or not this is the right time for you to apply. You can always do the training down the track if it’s not a good time right now.
Important note: Mental Health First Aid is not a therapy or support group or a post-vention course, rather it is an education course to learn how to give first aid to others. For more information, visit mhfa.com.au. If you need help now, please click here.
Yes, but if you are looking to train a large group of people in Mental Health First Aid, we encourage you to first seek to more deeply understand what benefit or change you hope to see in your workplace from this training.
While MHFA offers a range of benefits for both individuals and organisations, it will not create a mentally healthy workplace. No stand-alone training can achieve this, though training of various kinds may form a useful part of a broader program of work and cultural change.
If you are seeking to shift the culture around mental health and wellbeing in your organisation, the Arts Wellbeing Collective can tailor support, workshops and information to help you develop a vision, strategic approach, and action plan for mental health and wellbeing in your workplace, entirely opt-in and free of charge. Please get in touch to learn more.
If Mental Health First Aid for a large group of employees is identified as a meaningful action as part of a broader strategy, AWC does occasionally hold sessions for specific organisations or groups of people in related roles. If this is applies to your organisation, please submit an enquiry to ask about upcoming availability of our trainers.