BNMHF - Mental Health First Aid

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Course essentials

This course recognises the additional needs of the legal sector when representing and working with clients who have mental health issues.

Participants in the course learn:

  • how to recognise the symptoms of these mental illnesses
  • possible causes or risk factors for these illnesses
  • evidence-based medical, psychological and alternative treatments available
  • how to give appropriate initial help and support to a person suffering one of these illnesses
  • how to take appropriate action if a crisis situation arises involving suicidal behaviour, panic attacks, stress reaction to trauma, or agitated psychotic behaviour

Developed by the Melbourne-based Mental Health First Aid Training and Research Program, this course has been completed by over 170,000 Australians.

Awards received by the MHFA team include the Public Health Programs Award for Innovation 2006, and the Suicide Prevention Australia - 2005 Life Award.

Please note that this course can be completed in-house and its delivery structure can be customised.

Study pathways

Find out more about pathways and credits.

Credit for skills and past study

If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.

Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course coordinator or academic adviser.

Course objectives

This course helps you manage a potential or developing mental health problem in a family member, friend or work colleague. It does not train people to diagnose or treat health problems, but gives you the knowledge and confidence to help someone who may be in the early stages of a mental health problem, or experiencing a mental health crisis.

Course contents

DAY 1 Objectives of Session 1 • To discuss what Mental Health First Aid is, and why our communities need it. • To understand what is meant by the term “mental illness’ or “mental disorder” • To learn the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan • To learn the prevalence of mental disorders in Australia, and to understand which disorders are the most common • To understand the potentially disabling impact of a mental disorder • To learn the signs and symptoms of depression, including how it may be experienced differently, and present differently, across age groups Objectives of Session 2: • To learn about treatments and resources for depression, and how to support someone who may be experiencing depression • To learn about the different ways anxiety may present, and to recognise the possible symptoms and causes of anxiety disorders • To practice making a suicide assessment, recognising the indicators • To learn the crisis first aid for suicidal behaviour DAY 2 Objectives of Session 1 • To learn about the treatments and resources for anxiety disorders, and how to support someone who may be experiencing an anxiety disorder • To learn the crisis first aid for panic attacks • To learn the crisis first aid for acute stress disorder • To learn about psychotic disorders • To learn about the possible symptoms and causes of psychotic disorders, including early warning signs of a developing disorder. Objectives of Session 2 • To learn the crisis first aid for acute psychosis • To learn about the treatments and resources for psychotic disorders and how to support someone who may be experiencing symptoms of a psychosis. • To learn about substance use disorders • To learn about the possible causes, treatments and resources for substance use disorders, and how to support someone who has a substance use disorder. • To learn the crisis first aid for overdose

Places are limited in this course. The class size will be limited to 20 participants.

Admission requirements

Students must complete the registration form and attach or forward payment

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At Victoria University, we make every reasonable effort to make sure the information displayed online about our courses is accurate and complete. We continually look to provide innovative courses. Those courses are shaped by a number of things including your feedback and changes in Government funding arrangements. As a result there may be changes to the courses we deliver and fees charged. We will update the website regularly to reflect any changes.

Information about course fees, articulation and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations, and services available to students can be accessed on the University’s website or by contacting the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100.