About MHFA

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) International is an Australian not-for-profit organisation focused on mental health training and research. Our core work is to develop MHFA courses, and train Instructors to deliver these courses to their communities or workplaces. MHFA courses are delivered across Australia and internationally.

MHFA courses teach members of the public how to provide initial help to a person who is developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional help is received, or the crisis resolves.

Since its inception in 2000, Mental Health First Aid has evolved into a global movement across Australia and in over 27 countries. The MHFA program has been adapted for use in other countries and rigorous evaluations have contributed to its international uptake. To date, over 3 million people worldwide have been trained, including over 800,000 Australians.

International Recognition

The Mental Health First Aid Program has been recognised with a number of Australian and international awards, including the prestigious Mental Health Service Award of Australia and New Zealand (THeMHS) Medal. It has also been recognised in the UK as an example of radical efficiency and has been listed in the USA by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on their National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

Evidence-based Courses

MHFA Australia courses are based on guidelines developed through the expert consensus of people with lived experience of mental health problems and mental health professionals. These guidelines constitute best practice first aid and cover a number of mental health problems, crises and in different contexts. All MHFA courses are evaluated, using rigorous scientific methods, to ensure they are having a positive impact.

These guidelines are a general set of recommendations. Each individual is unique and it is important to tailor your support to that person’s needs. The guidelines are designed to be suitable for providing mental health first aid in high-income countries that have a well-developed health care system and individualistic culture. The program is currently not suitable for use in low to middle income countries with very different health systems and cultural backgrounds.

These guidelines are copyrighted to MHFA International and may be linked directly from our website, but are not allowed to be reproduced or reposted on any other website.