The SMHFA: YP programme

The SMHFA: YP course takes 14 hours to complete. It can be presented in a range of formats to suit different groups. The course must be presented by a qualified SMHFA instructor and quality is continuously monitored by Public Health Scotland.

A whole suite of materials, resources and e-learning modules have been developed to enhance the programme. For example, participants are expected to complete an online module or paper workbook, before undertaking the face-to-face element. Offering a flexible, accessible and convenient approach to training delivery.

The following is a brief outline of what is covered on the course:

  • guidance on being a Mental Health First Aider
  • mental health problems that affect young people
  • the recovery message
  • the impact of alcohol and drugs on a young person's mental health
  • introduction to suicide intervention
  • listening skills
  • understanding cyber-bullying
  • understanding depression
  • how to offer first aid to someone experiencing depression
  • understanding anxiety
  • understanding psychosis
  • how to offer first aid to someone experiencing a psychotic episode
  • understanding eating disorders

The course does not train people to be mental health workers. It offers basic general information about mental health problems. The knowledge presented and understanding developed in the course helps to remove stigma and fear and to give confidence in approaching a young person in distress.

Mental Health First Aid is an initial response to distress and all participants on the course understand that this help is given only until other suitable or professional help can be found

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