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Standard Mental Health First Aid

Standard Mental Health First Aid equips adults with the skills, knowledge and confidence to recognise, understand and respond to another adult experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis.

About Standard MHFA

Around one in five New Zealand adults will experience a mental health challenge in any given year. That means that you or someone you work with, play sport with, or a friend or family member, or someone you know, could be struggling. Would you know how to have a conversation to support their mental health, and encourage them to get help?

Standard Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Aotearoa is a training programme that educates people on what to look for and gives them the skills to have an open, supportive conversation about mental health.

What the Standard MHFA course covers

The Standard MHFA Aotearoa course is a two-day, face-to-face workshop that teaches you how to provide initial support to another adult who may be experiencing a mental health crisis or challenge.

  • How to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health challenges in other adults.

  • How to respond if an adult is experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis, and assist them to seek professional or other support.

  • How to have an open, supportive conversation with someone about their mental health.

  • How to use our practical, five-step ALGEE mental health action plan, so you have a clear process to follow, and are able to encourage the person experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis to receive professional and other supports.

Standard MHFA workshops cover a range of topics including depression, anxiety, psychosis, problematic substance abuse, non-suicidal self-injury, suicidal thoughts and behaviours, panic attacks, traumatic events and other situations.

The evidence-based programme is backed by robust research, and the Aotearoa New Zealand adaptation was informed by people in the Māori, Pacific and rainbow communities, those with lived experience, and clinical advisors.

Attendees will receive a Standard MHFA workshop manual (fourth edition) which has been specially adapted for Aotearoa New Zealand. This includes more information and resources to support what is taught in the workshop.

People who complete Standard MHFA become Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAiders), part of a network of people equipped with the skills, confidence and knowledge to support adults with mental health challenges in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Find a MHFA course

The Mental Health First Aid two-day workshops are taught by accredited MHFA instructors. MHFA instructors are not employees of Te Pou so determine their own fees for workshop attendance.

To find an accredited MHFA Aotearoa instructor in your area, please look on our page which lists accredited instructors.

Become a Standard MHFA accredited instructor

If you wish to teach the Standard Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) programme to others in your workplace, organisation or community, you can become an accredited instructor. Check out our page on becoming an instructor for more information.

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