top of page
What is Mental Health First Aid

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Since its inception in 2000, Mental Health First Aid has evolved into a global movement across Australia and in over 27 countries. To date, over 3 million people worldwide have been trained, including over 800,000 Australians.

The Mental Health First Aid Program has been recognised with a number of Australian and international awards, including the THeMHS Medal.


It has been recognised in the UK as an example of radical efficiency and has been listed in the USA by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on their National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).


Around 1 in 5 Australian adults and 1 in 4 people in England experience a common mental illness each year.


Understanding how to talk about mental health and help someone in need are important skills. Many people feel uncomfortable and unprepared when thinking about starting a conversation with someone they are concerned about.


At a Mental Health First Aid course, you will learn how to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems and learn the skills to feel confident and able to help.


Having mental health first aid skills means that you can assist someone developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis and make a real difference to your community.

Canva - Selective Focus Photo of Magnify

What evidence is MHFA based on?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses are based on evidence of what is best practice mental health first aid to support someone who has a mental health problem or is experiencing a mental health crisis. This evidence has been developed in partnership with the University of Melbourne, through developing Delphi method guidelines that cover a number of mental health problems, crises and in different contexts. All MHFA courses are then evaluated, using rigorous scientific methods, to ensure they are having a positive impact.
These evaluations consistently show that MHFA training is associated with improved knowledge of mental illnesses and their treatments, knowledge of appropriate first aid strategies, and confidence in providing first aid to individuals with mental illness, benefits which are maintained over time.
Some studies have also shown improved mental health in those who attend the training, decreases in stigmatising attitudes and increases in the amount and type of support provided to others.
Link to Research Evaluating MHFA Courses
Link to Research Informing MHFA Course Curriculums 
Link to UK Based and Additional International Research & Evaluation
MHFA Instructor Member Badge_Green (1).p
MHFA Logo_Accredited Instructor.jpg
Public Course May 2019 (1)
Public Course May 2019 (1)
UntitledPost (5)
UntitledPost (7)
UntitledPost (6)
Dec19 Lovely
outside creative studio
WhatsApp Image 2019-11-04 at 2.12.19 PM.
wall creative studio_edited
compass at google
waterloo inside studio roof
WhatsApp Image 2019-10-16 at 6.35.05 PM.
Middlesex FA - Photo
outside creative studio
MHFA Instructor Member Badge_Green (1).p
MHFA (England) Courses

MHFA (England) Courses

At It's a Playground, we offer a variety of Adult MHFA (England) certified courses. All of the trainers we work with are fully qualified and hand-selected for their experience, skills and flavour of facilitation, by our Head Trainer and Founder, Laura Rigden.

Mental Health First Aid - 2 Day Course (workplace or community)


We can also take bookings for face-to-face deliveries later in the year. 

This course qualifies your employees as Mental Health First Aiders, giving them:

  • An in-depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing

  • Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of a range of mental health issues

  • Confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress using the Mental Health First Aid action plan

  • Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening

  • Knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further support - whether through self-help resources, internal support such as EAP, or external sources such as their GP

  • An understanding of how to keep themselves safe while performing their duties

Brochure for MHFA (England) 2 Day Course

MHFA Champion - 1 Day Course (workplace)

We can take face-to-face deliveries for this course for later in the year. Or enquire about our It's a Playground workshops on Mental Health Awareness for Managers.

This one day mental health awareness and skills course qualifies your employees as MHFA Champions, giving them: 

  • Knowledge and confidence to provide Mental Health First Aid for the most common mental health issues

  • An understanding of how to help build a mentally healthy workplace, challenge stigma and support positive wellbeing

MHFA(England) Mental Health Aware - Half Day Course (community or workplace)

This course is currently available online.


We can also take bookings for face-to-face deliveries later in the year. 

This introductory course raises awareness of mental health. Your employees will gain:

  • An understanding of what mental health is and how to challenge stigma

  • A basic knowledge of some common mental health issues

  • An introduction to looking after their own mental health and maintaining wellbeing

  • Confidence to offer support someone in distress or who may be experiencing a mental health issue


MHFA(England) Refresher Course - Half Day Course

This course is currently available online.


We can also take bookings for face-to-face deliveries later in the year. 

Empower Mental Health First Aiders and MHFA Champions to maintain their skills with regular Refresher training.  

The four hour Refresher course will support your Mental Health First Aiders and MHFA Champions by:

  • Renewing their skills 

  • Updating their knowledge of mental health supports 

  • Giving them the chance to practice applying the Mental Health First Aid action plan 

Enabling your Mental Health First Aiders and MHFA Champions to refresh their skills, the same way your physical first aiders do, is a great way to demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to treating mental health and physical health equally. Investing in the course will give you the confidence that your Mental Health First Aiders and MHFA Champions are performing their role safely and effectively.

Flier for Refresher Course


MHFA(England) Higher Education Course - 1 Day Course

Our aim is to support you to manage wellbeing proactively and minimise the impact of mental ill health on work, study and life. We’ll work alongside you to deliver training that complements and enhances your existing wellbeing provision and strategy, if you have one. If you don’t, we’ll get you started on that journey and guide you along the way.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training courses teach people to spot the symptoms of mental health issues, offer initial help and guide a person towards support.

We don’t teach people to be therapists, but we do teach people to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis - and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.

We have training options to suit a range of timescales and budgets, from basic mental health awareness to a full Mental Health First Aider qualification. They are all designed to benefit academic staff, support staff, and students alike - to let people meet the challenges of work, study and life head on.

Brochure for Higher Education Course

All Videos

All Videos

MHFA Logo_Accredited Instructor.jpg

Mental Health First Aid Australia Courses

Standard Course Tile_990x660.jpg

We are currently taking face-to-face bookings for later on in the year. 

We are also, soon to be, releasing the fully online Blended Mental Health First Aid Standard Community and Workplace Courses

Subscribe Form

Stay up to date

bottom of page