• AJ Williams-Tchen


The last few months I have been delivering this course to Aboriginal & non-Indigenous young people as part of the Emerging Leader Award. Many people ask me about it - so I am going to highlight today.

The 3.5-hour teen MHFA Course teaches high school students in years 10-12, how to provide mental health first aid to their friends. The course was developed in response to research indicating that young people have a preference for sharing problems with peers. The course curriculum is based on a study undertaken to determine the best actions a young person can undertake to support a peer with a mental health problem.

Students learn the teen MHFA Action Plan, as well as information about different types of mental health problems and mental health crisis situations in young people, and the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Developing mental health problems covered are:

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Depressive disorders

  • Eating disorders

  • Alcohol and other drug use disorders

  • Psychotic disorders

Mental health crisis situations covered are:

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviours

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

  • Being very intoxicated from alcohol and other drugs

  • Bullying or abuse