Teen Mental Health First Aid

The Mental Health Coach

Teen Mental Health First Aid

The Teen MHFA course teaches high school aged students how to provide mental health first aid to their friends.

Adolescence is a time of important change and development.

It is also the time when mental health problems can first emerge. During high school years, mental health problems are among the leading courses of falling grades, problems with friends, and relationships, substance use or abuse and they can have lifelong impact.

That’s where Mental Health First Aid training can help.

With a focus on improved mental health literacy and early intervention, the peer-to-peer Teen MHFA course is for high school aged students. There’s a version designed for those in Years 7-9 and a senior school versions for students in Years 10-12.

Course Information

Delivery Format

Duration 3
classroom sessions

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The Teen MHFA course is based on guidelines developed through the expert consensus of people with lived experience of mental health problems and professionals. The course equips teenagers with the skills to recognise and respond to a friend who may be experiencing a mental health problem or crisis situation. Using a practical, evidence-based action plan, the Teen MHFA course helps build the confidence needed to support a friend until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves.

Evaluation of the teen mhf course has shown…

Increased confidence in students to help a peer with a mental health problem
Reduced stigmatising attitudes towards people with mental health problems
Increased intentions to seek help for a mental health problem
Increased recognition and quality first aid skills in helping a peer at risk of suicide

This course covers developing mental health problems and crisis situations. Students learn how to recognise when a friend or classmate is developing a mental health problem and have a supportive conversation, and how to identify signs of a crisis such as suicidal thoughts. The course focuses on knowing when and how to seek the support of a trusted adult. 

The learning is supported by videos that tell the lived experience stories of teens who have experienced mental illness. 

Upon completion of this course students will be able to: 

  • Recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems commonly experienced in young people 
  • Know when and how to seek the support of a trusted adult 
  • Use an evidence-based action plan to initiate a mental health first aid conversation 
  • Assess for a range of crisis situations and provide initial support  
  • Understand the prevalence and impact of mental illnesses, risk factors and treatments and supports available  
  • Know the barriers to help seeking and how to overcome these. 

The course is delivered via 3 face-to-face classroom sessions. 

There are versions of the program for every student from Year 7 to Year 12.

We can work with you to identify the right course option and approach for your setting.