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Mental Health First Aid


The aims of MHFA are to preserve life where a person may be a danger to themselves or others. It provides help to prevent the mental health problem becoming more serious and

promotes the recovery of good mental health. It also helps you to provide comfort to a person experiencing a mental health problem

MHFA teaches participants how to recognise the symptoms of mental health problems. How to provide initial help and how to go about guiding a person towards appropriate professional help.

Why Mental Health First Aid?

  • Mental health problems are common

  • There is stigma around mental health problems and this can prevent people seeking help

  • People generally don’t know how to recognise mental health problems or what help is available

  • People with mental health problems may be unable to think clearly and may not realise they need help or that effective help is available.

  • Professional help is not always immediately available

  • In a mental health crisis situation, the helper’s actions may determine how quickly the

  • person gets appropriate professional help

Who can attend?

Course Format:

Course Content:

The course has proved successful with different professional groups including health workers, teachers, front line public sector, voluntary and community sector workers as well as members of the general public. Any interested person can attend

MHFA is 12 hours of evidence-based training involving group discussion; role plays and DVD’s. The programme is delivered over 2 days or can be delivered in 4 x 3hr sessions. Participants will be expected to attend the duration of the programme.

Topics covered include:

  • What is meant by mental health / mental ill health?

  • Dealing with crisis situations such as suicidal behaviour, self-harm, panic attacks and acute psychotic behaviour

  • Recognising the signs and symptoms of common mental health problems including depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis and substance use disorders

  • Where and how to get help

  • Self-help strategies

MHFA is delivered throughout Northern Ireland by experienced MHFA facilitators. Please contact Helen Gibson for further information.

Duration: 2 Days

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