Mental Health First Aid Ireland

MHFAssist Ireland

What is Mental Health First Assist?

First aid assistance is the help given to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained. Mental Health First Assist is the help provided to a person developing or experiencing a mental health crisis. Assistance is given until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis resolves.

What is Mental Illness?

Mental ill health is very common with approximately one in four Irish adults experience mental ill health in any one year. The most commonly reported conditions are anxiety, depression and substance use with many experiencing mental ill health for a long time before they seek help. Mental ill health impacts on social and work relationships, finances, an individual’s self concept and capacity to cope with the demands of the world around them.

Mental Health First Assist Program

While people often know a lot about common physical health problems, there is a lack of understanding of mental ill health. This lack of understanding contributes to stigmatising attitudes which prevents people from seeking help which could minimise their distress. Similarly, the lack of understanding about mental ill health often prevents people providing appropriate support to those in distress simply because they do not know what to do.

Mental Health First Assist is an intensive, dynamic short course designed to give busy people the skills to assist someone in crisis.

This 3.5 hour training course developed in Australia in 2010 addresses the most common mental ill health conditions on the community and provides an action plan to assist someone in distress. Using evidence based psychological frameworks it teaches participants to recognise mental distress and respond to support someone in crisis.

Participants receive comprehensive teaching notes and a certificate at the completion of the course.