"Mental health first aid (MHFA) is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis resolves".

MHFA programs and courses are evidence based training, which teach mental health first aid strategies to members of the public and prepare instructors who are trained and accredited individuals to deliver MHFA courses to communities and workplaces across the country.

The concept of MHFA is that people should be taught on how to perform basic ‘first aid’ for those showing signs of mental health distress, just as they are commonly taught first aid for physical conditions.

Where it first started

The MHFA course was originally developed at the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University in Canberra. The original Australian version of the manual was written by Betty Kitchener and Professor Anthony Jorm in 2000. In this year since, it has evolved into a global movement with licensed programs in 24 countries and counting. Over two million people have been trained in MHFA skills worldwide. You can find out more about international MHFA programs at mhfainternational.org. MHFA is now available to Indian citizens and communities.

Mental Health First Aid India

Mental Health First Aid India has obtained the MHFA International license in the year 2017, to carry out the standard MHFA program, across the country. MHFA India is based in Chennai and is focused on mental health training, promotion, campaigns and research. Our team strongly believes that, the MHFA program will help our communities in improving mental health literacy, reduce stigma and motivate early professional help seeking.

By understanding the concepts on Mental Health, the Indian public would help with:

  • Bring down the fear and myth behind Mental illness.
  • Seek early and reach for appropriate interventions.
  • Talk about mental health.
  • Break the stigma that exists in our society.
  • Break down barriers to the support that people may need to stay well, recover, or manage their symptoms – to thrive in learning, work and life.
  • Prevention of suicide (even one life matters) which is dramatically high in our country.