Mental Health First Aider Course

Delivering a practical approach to mental health first aid

The UKSA Mental Health First Aider course takes a unique practical approach to creating competent and confident workplace first aiders who are able to spot the signs and respond to the mental and physical health needs of a person experiencing a mental health issue.

About the course

The UKSA Mental Health First Aider course takes place over two-days and is delivered across four sessions. You will gain the knowledge and skills to respond effectively to situations that they might face at work through a mixture of presentations, group discussions, and workshop activities.

What is a Mental Health First Aider?

The role of the Mental Health First Aider is to support employees in the workplace who are experiencing mental ill health or distress. This support can vary from having a non-judgmental conversation with a colleague, through to guiding them towards the right support. Someone with poor mental health may not realise it and even if they do, they may be reluctant to seek help, or might not know where to turn for care.

Become a Mental Health First Aider

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an online accredited training course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue.

MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.

You’ll learn to recognise warning signs of mental ill health and develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone while keeping yourself safe.

You’ll also learn how to empower someone to access the support they might need for recovery or successful management of symptoms. This could include self-help books or websites, accessing therapy services through their GP, their school or place of work, online self-referral, support groups, and more.

What’s more, you’ll gain an understanding of how to support positive wellbeing and tackle stigma in the world around you.

Qualifications

Upon completion of the course, you will receive:

  • A certificate of attendance to say you are a Mental Health First Aider
  • A manual to refer to whenever you need it
  • A quick reference card for the Mental Health First Aid action plan
  • A workbook including a helpful toolkit to support your own mental health

Course structure

Session 1

Individual learning (1 hour):

  • Introduction to the Online Mental Health First Aid course and the Online Learning Hub (course overview, safety procedure, attending live sessions, and completing individual learning activities)
  • Activity 1: Why Mental Health First Aid?
  • Activity 2: The Mental Health First Aid action plan
  • Activity 3: What is mental health?
  • Activity 4: Quiz: Impact of mental health
  • Activity 5: Stress Container (completed after live session)
  • Activity 6: Frame of Reference (completed after live session)

Live session (2 hours 30 minutes):

  • Introduction to course functions
  • Introduction to the course
  • ALGEE and mental health introduction recap
  • Stigma
  • Risk and protective factors
  • 10 minute break
  • Frame of Reference
  • The Mental Health Continuum
  • Introduction to the Stress Container

Session 2

Individual learning (2 hours):

  • Activity 7: What is depression?
  • Activity 8: Risk factors for depression
  • Activity 9: Mental Health First Aid for depression
  • Activity 10: Introduction to suicide

Live session (2 hours 30 minutes):

  • Recap of individual learning on depression
  • Prevalence of suicide
  • Suicide, substance misuse and dual diagnosis
  • Analyse the impact of suicidal feelings
  • Recap of ALGEE and risk factors for suicide
  • Explain Mental Health First Aid action plan 1 for suicide
  • 10 minute break
  • Explain non-judgemental listening, Empathy video
  • Practice using ALGEE in case study scenarios
  • Review of ALGEE for suicide and depression
  • Self-care

Session 3

Individual learning (2 hours):

  • Activity 11: What is anxiety?
  • Activity 12: Mental Health First Aid for anxiety
  • Activity 13: What are eating disorders?
  • Activity 14: Mental Health First Aid for eating disorders
  • Activity 15: What is self-harm?
  • Activity 16: Mental Health First Aid for self-harm
  • Activity 17: What are personality disorders?

Live session (2 hours 30 minutes):

  • Recap of individual learning on anxiety
  • Recap of the five basic steps of ALGEE for anxiety
  • Explain action 1 for anxiety
  • How to support someone who is having a panic attack
  • Explain crisis first aid
  • Practice action 2: non-judgemental listening
  • 10 minute break
  • Practice applying the Mental Health First Aid action plan for anxiety
  • Explain cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Recap of eating disorders and self-harm
  • Case study for eating disorders and self-harm
  • Review ALGEE for eating disorders and self-harm

Session 4

Individual learning (2 hours):

  • Activity 18: What are psychosis, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder?
  • Activity 19: Risk factors for psychosis
  • Activity 20: Mental Health First Aid for psychosis
  • Activity 21: Helpful and unhelpful responses
  • Workbook Activity 10: My action plan for using Mental Health First Aid (completed after live session)

Live session (2 hours 30 minutes): 

  • Review of individual learning on psychosis
  • Explain the development of symptoms of psychosis
  • Review the five steps of ALGEE for psychosis
  • Group discussion about MHFA Australia psychosis video
  • Case study activity using Mental Health First Aid action plan for psychosis
  • 10 minute break
  • Recovery
  • Explore how to build a mentally healthy workplace
  • Start action plan to use Mental Health First Aid
  • Feedback

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Since I have been here at UKSA, I feel that my attitude has changed and I am feeling energised and positive about my future and am planning a career. What’s more, receiving an award for being an outstanding student in my first year of my BTEC here was amazing – it came as a complete surprise; I was ecstatic and excited.

Dominic Bozianu - Student/BTEC Level 3

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