If you need to speak to someone right now, here are some confidential options which provide 24/7 support. If you're worried you might hurt yourself or someone else, please call 999, or go to your nearest A and E.
For people who are experiencing distress or despair.0808 808 8000
Helps anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night.0800 1111
In 2000, the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) programme was created in Canberra, Australia by Betty Kitchener, an educator and mental health service user, in partnership with Tony Jorm, a mental health researcher. The aim in creating the programme was to extend the concept of first aid training to include mental health problems so that community members were empowered to provide better initial support to people developing mental health problems or in a mental health crisis.
Further information about MHFA Australia is available on the website: www.mhfa.com.au
Using the materials originally developed in Australia in 2000, MHFA was adapted for the Scottish Executive’s National Programme for Improving Mental Health and Well-being in 2004, known as Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid. A Northern Ireland pilot project in 2006, delivered through the cross-border partnership of Cooperation and Working Together (CAWT), Aware Defeat Depression and the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) and based on the Scottish MHFA materials, proved highly successful. Participants felt that the first aid skills enabled them to recognise the symptoms of mental illness, and provided them with the confidence, skill, motivation and knowledge to offer help. In 2008 the Health Promotion Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding to adapt the MHFA Australia training programme for Northern Ireland and the first MHFA NI guidelines were produced in 2009.
In 2021 this MHFA (Adult) for Northern Ireland programme was produced in accordance with international guidelines developed by MHFA International. These guidelines were formed using the consensus of expert panels of mental health consumers, carers and professionals from developed English-speaking countries. Further details of the guidelines and their development can be found at: www.mhfa.com.au/mhfa-research.
MHFA (Adult) is for any person aged 18+ interested in learning how to assist other adults who are developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves.