Youth and Teen Mental Health First Aid (Central Highlands)

Mental Health First Aid Australia offers courses for adults and teens to learn how to recognise and respond to mental health problems in adolescents.

  • Tier: Tier 1: Positive Mental Health Promotion
  • Type of intervention: Peer support, mental health literacy
  • Strength of evidence: Level 4: Established evidence for program (supported by quality research evidence)
  • Geographic location: Only available for delivery in the Central Highlands area.

Program description

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA - a Mental Health First Aid Australia course) is designed for adults who work, live, or care for adolescents. The course teaches adults to assist adolescents who are developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening mental health problem, or are in a mental health crisis.

Teen Mental Health First Aid (TMHFA - another Mental Health First Aid Australia course) teaches secondary students how to provide mental health first aid to their friends. The course is available for 2 cohorts: years 7-9 and years 10-12. Teen MHFA focuses on improving the mental health literacy of a whole cohort, to reduce the behaviours and attitudes that often prevent teens from getting the help and support they need.

Intended outcomes

  • Increased staff knowledge of mental health problems in young people 
  • Increased student mental health literacy
  • Increased staff and student confidence in responding in a crisis 
  • Reduced stigma and increased support for young people with mental health problems 
  • Positive changes in attitudes toward students with mental health problems 
  • Increased student intentions to seek help for a mental health problem 
  • Increased student recognition and first aid skills in helping a peer at risk of suicide

Program details

Target audience
  • Secondary school students - lower
  • Secondary school students - upper
  • Secondary school staff - capacity building
Program providerBallarat Community Health
Delivery mode
  • Face-to-face 
  • Combination of face-to-face and online

Implementation considerations

  • Target population: Youth MHFA targets adults who work, live with, or care for adolescents. Teen MHFA targets secondary students in Years 7-9 and 10-12.
  • Training requirements: Youth MHFA is a 14-hour course, delivered via 2 face-to-face sessions. This program can be delivered in shorter sessions based on local needs. Teen MHFA is a 3.5-hour course, delivered via 3 face-to-face classroom sessions to students. Facilities for an online presentation (including a projector) will be required.
  • Factors to consider: A minimum number of 20 participants and a maximum number of 25 participants is required to run both courses. Teen MHFA can only be delivered in settings where 10 percent of staff have trained in Youth MHFA and must be delivered to a whole student cohort. The Youth MHFA course accreditation lasts for 3 years. After this time, participants are strongly encouraged to renew their accreditation through a 4-hour 'Refresher' course. 
  • Australian context: Both programs were developed in Australia.


Item cost


Detailed cost

  • The Teen MHFA program costs $187.38 (inc. GST) per participant (including $40 for the course manual and materials)
  • The Youth MHFA program costs $330 (inc. GST) per participant (including $40 for the course manual and materials)
  • Travel time costs $66.98 (inc. GST) per clinician per hour

This pricing is based on the assumption that the program will be delivered within regular business hours at a venue provided by the school with 20 participants.