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MHFA Meitheal

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Ireland has spent the last 5 years endeavouring to bring Mental Health First Aid training to communities and workplaces around Ireland. To date over 7,500 people in Ireland have joined a growing community of the approximately 4 million worldwide trained in Mental Health First Aid. We have been using education and learning to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health. In doing so we are creating more supportive communities and workplaces, with a greater willingness to offer a compassionate listening ear to someone in distress, and signpost that person to effective help.

In these difficult times, looking to the past can inform us going forward.  The ancient concept of Meitheal, the application of community cooperation and support is one such way that we can support ourselves and those around us. This can be achieved by reaching out and offering support to those we care about or to those more vulnerable in our society and also being conscious of our own self-care. Our MHFA Meitheal series aims to provide guidance and support to you and your loved ones during these unprecedented times. So we invite you to follow us on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn,Instagram and Youtube and share our content using the hashtag #MHFAmeitheal 

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental health first aid is the help offered to a person who is developing a mental health problem or who is experiencing a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis resolves. It follows the model that has been successful with conventional first aid.

Developed originally in Australia, Mental Health First Aid is now internationally recognised in over 27 countries and over 1 million people worldwide have been trained in Mental Health First Aid skills.

We also offer in-house training directly to large organisations through MHFA Workplace and can consult with you directly to help meet your individual organisations needs.

The Standard Mental Health First Aid Ireland course teaches people how to provide MHFA. Participants will learn the signs and symptoms of mental health problems and what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective. They will learn a framework for communication, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person towards appropriate treatments and other supportive help.

Evidence Base

A key strength of the programme is the strong evidence base. Mental Health First Aid is included in the American National Registry of Evidence-Based Programmes and Practices.

Mental Health First Aid training has been shown to improve attitudes towards people with mental health difficulties, reduce stigma, improve knowledge, and improve people’s confidence in providing help and likelihood to advise people to seek professional help. It has also been shown to improve participants own mental health.

For more information on current MHFA research click here