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Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid equips adults who teach, care for, or support young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to recognise, understand and respond to a young person experiencing a mental health challenge or mental health crisis.

About Youth MHFA

Across Aotearoa New Zealand, and globally, young people are experiencing increased mental health challenges. Around one in three young people each year will experience a mental health challenge, and adults have a duty of care to support them with the right skills and knowledge.

What the Youth MHFA course covers

Our Youth MHFA Aotearoa course is a two-day, face-to-face workshop that teaches adults how to provide initial support to a young person (aged 11 to 18) who may be experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis.

  • How to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health challenges in young people.

  • How to respond to an emerging or worsening mental health challenge, and assist a young person until professional help is received or the crisis resolves.

  • How to have an open, supportive conversation with a young person 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 can encourage a young person towards professional help and other supports.

Youth MHFA workshops cover a range of topics including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, 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 Youth MHFA workshop manual 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 Youth MHFA become Youth Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAiders), part of a network of people equipped with the skills, confidence and knowledge to support young people experiencing and living with mental health challenges in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Find a MHFA course

The Youth Mental Health First Aid two-day workshops are taught by accredited Youth 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.

Please note, as the Youth programme launched in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2023, we are still growing the number of accredited Youth MHFA instructors across the motu. Many of them work within schools and organisations, although some offer courses in the community. Please contact our team directly at mhfa@tepou.co.nz if you need further help to find a Youth MHFA two-day workshop in your region.

Become a Youth MHFA accredited instructor

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

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