Mental Health First Aid

MHFA is an internationally acclaimed mental health awareness programme designed to give ordinary people the tools they need to be able to recognise the signs symptoms of mental health problems, provide initial help, and guide a person towards appropriate professional help.
All of us are likely to experience some form of emotional or mental health problems at some point in our lives. As employees, we are likely to engage with members of the public and colleagues who are experiencing mental health problems. Participants on MHFA learn a set of skills that gives them the confidence to engage with fellow human beings in distress and guide them to the right kind of help, quickly!

MHFA is a 12-hour intensive training course, usually delivered over 2 days. The course provides an overview of common mental health problems, causes, symptoms and treatments. It also provides a framework for helping people in emotional distress.

MHFA is perfect for those wanting to know more about mental health and how it affects others or as an extension to standard First Aid programmes. The programme is delivered in an interactive and practical way using case studies, video clips and active participation.

For Employers: Mental Health First Aid will be a valuable addition to any staff wellbeing strategy as it empowers employees to take control of their own mental health as well as giving them the knowledge to help employees and colleagues by recognising the risk factors for mental ill-health. It gives staff and managers the skills and confidence to help colleagues who are in a mental health crisis.

Early intervention is critical in helping an employee to make a quick and lasting recovery from mental ill-health and help them avoid or reduce time off for stress or mental health problems.


MHFA 2 Day training course

  • Preserve life where a person may be a danger to themselves or others
  • Provide help to prevent the mental health problems developing into a more serious state
  • Promote the recovery of good mental health
  • Provide comfort to a person experiencing a mental health problem
  • Reduce stigma and discrimination through education

Course Outline

Session 1:


  • What is mental health first aid?
  • Stigma
  • The five steps of mental health first aid.
  • Self-care
MHFA – Five-point action plan includes:

  • Action 1: Assess the risk of suicide or harm
  • Action 2: Listen non judgementally
  • Action 3: Give reassurance and information
  • Action 4: Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help
  • Action 5: Encourage Self-help strategies

Session 2:


  • Suicide Awareness and risk factors
  • First aid for Depression
  • Bi-Polar Disorder

Session 3:


  • First aid for Anxiety Disorders
  • First Aid for Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia

Session 4:


  •  Substance Use Disorders
  • Other Related Factors
  • Self-Care
Mental Health First Aid in Northern Ireland is accredited by the Northern Ireland Public Health Agency and all trainers are licensed to deliver this course.