Mental Health First Aid

1. Approach the person, assess and assist with any crisis

Approach the person if you think there may be a problem, look out for any crises and assist the person to deal with them.

2. Listen non-judgmentally

Set aside judgments about the person or their situation. Most people who are experiencing distressing emotions and thoughts want to be listened to empathetically before being offered options and resources that may help them.

3. Give support and information

Once a person with a mental health problem has felt listened to, it can be easier to offer support and information. This may be: • emotional support • practical help • asking if they would like some information about mental health problems

4. Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help

A person with mental health problems will have a better recovery if they receive appropriate professional help. Treatment options available include medication, counselling and assistance with educational goals, income and accommodation.

5. Encourage other supports

Encourage the person to use self-help strategies or seek the support of family and friends. Other people who have experienced mental health problems can also provide valuable help in the person’s recovery.

This information is taken from the Action Plan in the Mental Health First Aid Training and Research (MHFA) program. More information about MHFA can be obtained from: www.mhfa.com.au