Safer Communities offers Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training and consultancy to schools and workplaces. We are based in the Byron Bay Hinterland but travel throughout Australia.

With an extensive background in the Australian education and school system, we specialise in providing services to schools and youth focused community organisations.


Mark Smith 

Phone: 0413 684 350

Email: mark@safercommunities.com.au

Our Contact Form


Youth Mental Health First Aid will contribute 14 hours of NESA Registered PD addressing 6.2.2, 6.4.2, 7.2.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

© 2018 by Safer Communities.

Site design by Wild Honey Creative


A comprehensive course for any adult who lives or works with adolescents



Australian Government health studies indicate one in six adolescents will meet criteria for some type of mental illness in any given year. 


The 14 Hour Youth MHFA course teaches PRACTICAL and EVIDENCED BASED skills to assess, approach and assist a young person developing a mental health problem or in a crisis situation.

We place a great deal of importance in schools and youth organisations to learn regular first aid, yet mental health problems are far more common among young people than physical health problems. 

All teachers, school staff, parents and youth workers should do this course! The course is designed and accessible to any adult who lives or works with adolescents.

Mark Smith is a leading instructor of the Youth MHFA program. In his role with MHFA International as a consultant trainer, Mark is entrusted with the responsibility of training and assessing new Youth MHFA Instructors. Mark has been delivering Youth MHFA courses from July 2010.

Mental health problems covered are:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Psychosis

  • Substance use problems

  • Eating disorders​

Mental health crisis situations covered are:

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviours

  • Non-suicidal self-injury (sometimes called deliberate self-harm)

  • Panic attacks

  • Traumatic events

  • Severe effects of drug or alcohol use

  • Severe psychotic states

  • Aggressive behaviours

Mental Health First Aid was developed in Australia and is now taught in 25 countries worldwide. There is considerable research into the effectiveness of MHFA courses and there are many high profile advocates.  In 2014 American President, Barack Obama, mentioned this program in speeches about effective Mental Health support for American schools.

Participants are eligible for accreditation with Mental Health First Aid Australia.*


All participants will receive a certificate of participation and a resource book that contains all of the information provided in the course.

The course is for people who live or work with adolescents or young adults (12-18 age group), or any interested adult. The material is relevant to people outside this age group.

​This course is essential for Parents or Caregivers, Teachers, Nurses, Police, Youth Workers, Community Sector Workers, Youth Focused Organisations and many other industries. 

YMHFA is a highly practical course - participants will learn effective and research proven strategies to support a Young Person experiencing a mental health problem or crisis situation.

* To complete the accreditation process participants must complete a 15 minute online quiz and feedback form with Mental Health First Aid Australia after they have completed the course. This is free of charge and is valid for three years.