The Importance of Learning Mental Health First Aid

The Importance of Learning Mental Health First Aid

Learning Mental Health First Aid, or MHFA, helps you understand how to assist persons dealing with a mental illness or substance use complications. 

Although you cannot diagnose mental conditions, completing a mental health first aid course makes you an accredited MHFA practitioner. You can use your knowledge to help those around you, whether it’s friends, family, coworkers in the workplace or strangers. During the course, you learn about everyday mental health situations and how to handle them if they occur. 

In this article, we’re going to discuss the importance of learning mental health first aid. We’ll also talk about what you learn.

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid is a twelve to a fourteen-hour course that you complete with an accredited facilitator from The Mental Health Coach. After completing MHFA, the attendee gets accredited as a qualified practitioner.

This qualification lasts for three years. After the license expires, you need a refresher MHFA course to get a new three-year certification. 

Mental Health First Aid started in Australia in 2000 by Betty Kitchener and Anthony Jorm after realising the widespread trauma that resulted from the Black Saturday bushfires. Currently, 1 in 5 Australians suffer from some form of mental illness.

MHFA started spreading to other areas of the world by 2003, including much of Europe, Asia, some places in Africa, and most of North America, including the United States and Canada. Over 3 million people have taken an MHFA course.

Why Is Mental Health First Aid Important?

Many people struggle with their mental wellbeing. When a person experiences a mental health problem, it can be difficult for them to get assistance. 

When you don’t understand mental health problems, you may not know how to help someone dealing with an issue. 

A Mental Health First Aid course teaches you about various mental health issues and lets you learn how to handle these situations through activities, discussions, role-playing, and advice from the certified instructor. 

What Does Mental Health First Aid Cover?

You will learn about common misconceptions and myths regarding mental illnesses. You’ll also learn how to identify the signs of various illnesses. 

This course will teach you some useful techniques to help someone dealing with a mental health problem, including giving you a proven model for how to have a conversation with someone about their mental health. 

Having someone help during a mental problem or crisis can make a huge difference for them. 

Topics covered in MHFA include:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Abuse/bullying
  • Panic attacks
  • Substance use problems

In Closing

Mental Health First Aid courses teach you how to notice and assist people suffering from mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or panic attacks. If you have a loved one that suffers from these issues, you’ll be in a better position to understand and assist if you get an MHFA certification.