Youth Mental Health First Aid

Counselling Teen Mental Health | Smiling Teen Girl | Marie Vakakis | Footscray Melbourne Victoria | Child Adolescent Service

Learn how to help a young person who may be experiencing a mental health problem or a mental health crisis. You may be called upon to assist a young person through a distressing period in their life. Learn how to support a young person through a difficult time.

Marie facilitates Youth Mental Health First Aid courses for adults to provide information and techniques to adults in recognising when someone is having some challenges with their mental health or having a mental health crisis. Sometimes these symptoms can present themselves through uncharacteristic behaviours. Being able to support a young person through a difficult time first requires that supporting adults recognise the signs and symptoms of a young person who is not coping . Once recognised, it is important to understand what you can do to help, particularly if you have limited experience, confidence or don’t quite know how to access to the support services available to you and to them. Participating in the course will enable you to respond to behaviours and seek further assistance if required.

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental health first aid is the help provided to someone who is developing a mental health problem, has a worsening of an existing mental health problem or is in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves. Mental health first aid strategies are taught in evidence-based training programs authored by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia and conducted by accredited MHFA Instructors across Australia. http://www.mhfa.com.au

To see what public course we are running click here

What the course covers:

The course teaches adults how to assist young people who are developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. Course participants learn about adolescent development, the signs and symptoms of the common a mental health problems in young people, where and how to get help when a young person is developing a mental illness, what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective, and how to provide first aid in a crisis situation.

Developing mental health problems covered are:

  • Anxiety problems
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • 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


This is a 14 hour course, 2-day training package (7 hours per day)

Course participants receive a copy of the Youth MHFA Manual to keep and a Certificate of Completion.

Youth MHFA Manual

Youth Mental Health First Aid Course icon

A manual is provided to each participant attending this 14-hour MHFA course.The Youth Mental Health First Aid Course is for adults working or living with adolescents (those aged between 12 and 18 years), however, the course can be relevant for those helping people who are a little younger or older. This course is particularly suitable for parents, teachers, sports coaches, and youth workers.

Frequently asked questions

What is an Accredited MHFAider? What does this certificate allow me to do and how long does my certificate last?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses have not been mapped in Training.gov.au and course participants do not receive an accredited statement of attainment. MHFA International has an ongoing research program to develop and maintain MHFA Guidelines for Australia (and for some of the guidelines – English speaking countries).

To be an ‘Accredited’ MHFAider means a MHFA course participant who passes the assessment is accredited against these guidelines. It is similar to the way National First Aid Standards (which are used to develop and update Red Cross, St John Ambulance, etc. First Aid courses) are held by the Australian Resuscitation Council.Accreditation is valid for 3 years from the date of your MHFA course, and is renewed by completing a short MHFA Refresher Course. For more information and FAQ’s click here.

Im not a parent or teacher can I attend the training?

Of course ! Any interested adult can attend, though please note this course is not for young people under 18 to attend. We have had all kinds of people attend such as youth workers, judo instructors, librarians, personal trainers, parents, carers and teachers. This course is also not a therapy or support group, rather it is an education course to learn how to give first aid to others.

Is my trainer qualified?

All MHFA trainers have completed instructor training courses and have been accredited to deliver MHFA courses to the public. Trainers are accredited by MHFA Australia and work for a variety of organisations.

Your primary instructor Marie, with Evexia Counselling Services, is an accredited mental health social worker with extensive experience working with young people in schools, communities settings and as a counsellor.

What other courses are available?

Evexia Counselling Services offers MHFA for the suicidal person and teen MHFA for other courses please refer to the MHFA website for a range of courses available.

These dates and times don’t suit me, is there another instructor or course in my area?

There are a number of registered trainers offering a range of MHFA courses. You can search for an instructor in your area here or other courses here. A private session can be arranged for larger groups of 6 or more please contact the event organiser if interested . To book a public course click here

Youth MHFADownload