TEEN MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID
Safer Communities commends the Teen Mental Health First Aid course to all schools and organisations that serve children and young people aged 12-18 years.
The program has been receiving very positive feedback since it's inception in 2014. The teen MHFA course teaches similar themes to MHFA courses for adults, however, the material is age appropriate.
There is a very strong focus on ways to assist a peer to access an adult for support. Research has demonstrated teen MHFA is effective in increasing young people's skills and confidence to assist a peer and refer them to a supportive adult.
Like all MHFA programs, teen MHFA has been developed using very high quality research. You can read some initial research findings into teen MHFA by downloading the information sheets below.
Our Instructor Mark Smith was the very first MHFA Instructor in the world to deliver a public teen MHFA course when it was released in 2014. The program is now being adopted in many countries, including the USA where Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation has licensed the program for implementation in schools throughout the country.
How the Teen MHFA program is delivered
The Teen MHFA program is available in two modules:
Maximum 30 students per group trained. Sessions cannot be on the same day for the same group, preferably not on consecutive days either. As an experienced school executive, Mark will work with schools to ensure a hassle free delivery with minimal disruption to school routines.
Safer Communities recommends targeting two year levels and repeating the program annually. This way a standard secondary school will have close to 100% of students trained in three years.
Years 10-12 Course -
3 x 75 minute sessions
Years 7-9 Course -
3 x 60 minute sessions
MHFA Australia Rules for teen-MHFA
1. Training is delivered to an entire year cohort in a school - no target groups within year cohorts. MHFA is for everybody and no individuals or groups of students should take the sole responsibility of MHFA in a peer group. Parent or student opt outs are absolutely permitted.
2. At least one staff member, preferably 3+ staff are accredited with the 14 Hour Youth MHFA Course before a school can offer teen-MHFA to students.
Programs cost between $35 - $55 + $7.50 (for a program manual) per student. Price is dependant on numbers.
This includes an information package for students and parents prior to training and a 30 minute briefing with staff who are accredited Youth MHFAiders.
Rotary Sponsorship Opportunities
Safer Communities is able to approach Rotary in your community to advocate for support. Rotary Australia is a very big supporter of Mental Health First Aid Programs. Safer Communities has partnered with Rotary in Byron Bay to sponsor MHFA programs. Learn more>
A Historical Note...
Safer Communities has been with teen MHFA from Day 1!
In 2014 Mark Smith was in the first group of MHFA Instructors to become accredited to deliver the teen-MHFA course. Mark delivered a course to a group of nine Year 11 students at Byron Bay High School in May/June 2014, this was the very first open teen-MHFA program delivered for MHFA Australia (or in the world).