What is Mental Health First Aid?


Mental health first aid is the process of helping an individual that is developing mental health disorder to lessen the effect. It is also a help offered to patients with a mental health crisis. You can administer this first aid until the patient has gotten the necessary expert care or the situation has been handled.

If you offered assistance to an individual experiencing mental health, it would help them in any of the following conditions:

  • Anxiety problems
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Gambling problems.
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use problems

If someone is going through a mental illness crisis, this first aid can also be helpful in any of the conditions below:

  • Suicidal ideas and actions
  • Self-harm that is not suicide (usually referred to as deliberate self-harm)
  • Panic disorders
  • Shocking incidents
  • States of extreme psychosis
  • Severe consequences of alcohol or drug use
  • An aggressive attitude

Mental Health First Aid Training

International and local Mental Health First Aid specialists teach and certify the trainers who teach these courses. Around the world, instructors conduct training sessions in offices, classrooms, and public spaces.

The following topics are covered in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training program:

  • Ways to identify and assist someone who has a mental illness
  • How to administer MHFA in a variety of emergency scenarios, such as those with suicidal ideas
  • Knowledge of support options and methods for encouraging individuals to get professional assistance.

How to Administer First Aid for Mental Health

You can support someone experiencing a mental health disorder or a mental crisis if you have received training in mental health emergency rescue. Although without formal training, you may help people around you while following the procedures outlined in the mental health first aid manual.

Know The Symptoms

The first and most crucial step is understanding the primary signs of an individual developing mental illness. This will give some insight into the first aid to administer.

Only a qualified individual can diagnose a mental disorder, although you can notice changes in somebody's attitude, conduct, vitality, routines, or character. These alterations could be an indication of a mental health issue.

Here are some signs of a potentially significant issue:

  • Strange or uncommon behavior
  • Hallucinations, which include hearing or seeing unreal objects
  • Abrupt mood swings
  • Unorganized, anxious, and restless behavior
  • A significant drop in activity
  • A severe decline in work or school performance
  • Substantial estrangement from friends and families
  • Suicidal ideas or actions
  • Self-harm that is not suicide (deliberate self-harm)
  • High-risk or damaging behavior
  • Uncertainty and fuzziness

Individuals might require professional assistance if they show several of these behaviors, even if possessing one or two signs typically doesn't imply a mental disorder. Keep in mind that not everyone will exhibit the same symptoms and signs.

Management Approach

  • Allow the person to speak with you. Start the discussion if they aren't willing to talk to you directly and you are worried for them. Be forthright and honest when expressing your worries regarding their mental well-being.
  • Ensure that you speak to the person in a relaxed setting and when there will be no interruptions.
  • Talk about your own experiences. Instead of saying things like, "You seem to be withdrawn," "You're not eating and sleeping," use "I" statements like, "I have noticed," "I feel concerned about," and "I feel."
  • Observe and respect how the individual interprets their symptoms.
  • Advise them to speak to somebody they trust if they cannot talk with you.