What Is Mental Health First Aid, and What Does It Entail?
Mental health first aid is a public education course that teaches participants about the risk factors and warning symptoms of mental illness, how to recognise them, and how to get help.
This 8-hour workshop utilises role playing and simulations to show how to provide immediate assistance in a mental health crisis and connect people to the right professional, peer, social, and self-help resources.
Mental health first aid is the assistance you provide to someone who is developing a mental health problem, has a mental health problem, or is facing a mental health crisis.
This first assistance can be given until the person receives adequate expert treatment until the crisis has passed.
People who are suffering from the following symptoms may benefit from mental health first aid:
- Anxiety issues
- Issues with psychosis and substance abuse.
- Disordered eating
- Problems with gambling
It can also assist someone who is going through a mental health crisis, such as:
- Suicidal ideation and behaviour
- Self-injury that isn’t suicidal (sometimes called deliberate self-harm)
- The catastrophic incidents
- Panic attacks
- Extreme psychotic states
- Severe alcohol or drug-related side effects.
- Aggressive behaviour
In Australia, training in mental health first aid is available.
Mental health first aid is a worldwide programme that originated in Australia and is now accessible in more than 25 countres.
Mental Health First Aid Australia-certified teachers design, assess, and provide training throughout Australia.
Some topics are addressed in the classes:
- Ways to help people who are suffering from mental illness by using mental health first aid.
- First aid for suicidal person’s mental health
- How to persuade someone to get professional care for a mental health condition?
Who should take an MHFA course?
It’s preferable to know what to do and not have to use it than to be caught off guard in a difficult scenario. Signing up for a mental health first aid course is a fantastic idea if you have a friend, family member, or close coworker who has a mental condition. Anyone who works in the human services’ field should take the MHFA courses.
In addition to the conventional MHFA course, there are a variety of customised mental health first aid training courses available that appeal to certain age groups, vocations, and cultural backgrounds.
The following are some of the courses available:
- Medical and nursing students
- Financial counsellors
- Aboriginal and Torres strait islanders
The Action Plan for ALGEE
All MHFA courses will teach you how to use the ALGEE action plan to deliver mental health first aid.
The ALGEE action plan is as follows:
Approach, assess and assist with any crisis; look for signs of trauma and excessive anxiety, as well as the possibility of suicide or harm.
Listen to the person without passing judgement.
Give reassurance, support, and information to the individual.
Encourage the individual to seek professional assistance if necessary.
Encourage the individual to look for self-help and other forms of support.
The tasks that make up the ALGEE action plan do not need to be completed in any particular order, unlike other emergency action plans.
At the same time, you can assess the risks, provide reassurance, and listen without passing judgement.
What are the responsibilities of MHFAs?
In general, an MHFA serves as a point of contact for employees who are experiencing emotional distress or who are suffering in silence from mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, or depression.
Listening is a skill that Mental Health First Aiders are taught.
They’ve been taught to recognise the early indicators of mental illness in others.
They are taught to confidently refer someone to appropriate internal and external resources, as well as to deal with situations such as psychosis, suicidal ideation, or attempted suicide.
However, it is vital to highlight that MHFAs are not licenced therapists, counsellors, or psychiatrists.
They can’t give advice, but they can listen and provide support.
They’ve been taught to:
- Maintain privacy (unless a person’s physical safety or life is in jeopardy).
- Recognize the indicators of mental illness before they become serious.
- Determine whether you are in danger of self-harm or suicide.
- Without passing judgement, listen to what others have to offer.
- Listen to what others have to say without passing judgement.
- If necessary, know when to contact the emergency services.
- They are responsible for their own body health and emotional well-being.
- Understand how to initiate a conversation with someone who may be suffering from an emotional or mental illness.
- Encourage employees to take advantage of additional resources, such as internal and external support networks.
- If necessary, complete key incident papers.
How can you advertise your mental health first aid certification?
It’s a good idea to make all employees aware of whom the physical and mental first aiders are when introducing new staff to the organisation. Each company may promote and approach it’s their MHFA’s services in a unique way. Companies may want to consider making sure that mental health first responders;
- They are introduced to the rest of the team when they are hired
- Send email reminders to the team on a regular basis to remind them of the service.
- On a shared drive/intranet or business bulletin board, post their name, photo, location, and availability.
What you’ll discover?
This free online course is divided into three sections:
- Investigating mental health
- Learn ways to help people who are suffering from mental illness.
- Recognize what constitutes a mentally healthy setting.
The MHFA programme equips you with the skills to reach out and offer first aid and support to someone who is developing a mental health or substance use problem or is in a crisis.
First aid for mental illness obtains a nationally recognised mental health first aid certification.
It improves your abilities and helps you carve out a long-term professional path in your chosen field. Its distance learning is used to provide courses, allowing you to study when and where' you want. Personal tutors are assigned to guarantee that you receive the assistance you require to succeed.