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Mental Health First Aid & ASIST

While people often know a lot about common physical health problems, there is widespread confusion and misunderstanding of mental health issues and disorders.  This adds to the stigma and often discrimination of people with mental health problems prevents people from seeking help early and seeking the best sort of help.

It also prevents people providing appropriate support to family members, friends and colleagues simply because they do not know how.

In order to help people provide initial support for someone with a mental health concern, the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University has developed an adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training course.

The courses provide information about depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis and substance use disorder. In addition, the youth course includes modules on eating disorders and non-suicidal self-injury (self-harming behaviour).

Participants in the course learn:

  • How to recognise the symptoms of these mental illnesses
  • The possible causes and risk factors for these illnesses
  • The evidence based medical, psychological and alternative treatments available
  • How to give appropriate initial help and support to a person experiencing one of these illnesses
  • How to take appropriate action if a crisis situation arises involving suicidal behaviour, panic attack, stress reaction to trauma or threatening psychotic behaviour.

A certificate of attendance will be provided on completion of the two-day courses.

Barwon Health's Mental Health Drugs and Alcohol Service will be offering courses in both MHFA and YMHFA throughout 2019. Dates TBC.

The Mental Health First Aid Program is run by Mental Health First Aid™ Australia, a national non-profit health promotion charity focused on training and research. More information about MHFA Australia can be found at

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

ASIST is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. It trains participants to recognise when someone may be at risk of suicide and respond in ways that help increase their immediate safety. Participants learn how to strengthen support for a person at risk and link them with further help.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 17 May 2023

Mental Health Education Team, Level 2, Kitchener House, Ryrie Street, Geelong
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 03 4215 3375