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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 

Mental health first aid guidelines project

 

Overview

This project sought to develop guidelines for English speaking countries relating to the provision of first aid by members of the public to those developing a mental disorder or experiencing a mental health crisis. Using a lengthy and thorough research process, the project team were intent on producing guidelines that were respectful to the needs of professionals, carers, and consumers.

Initially, literature searches were conducted to locate potential first aid strategies. A working party then clustered similar strategies and eliminated repetitive strategies. Statements about first aid actions were then grouped into categories and a questionnaire was developed. The Delphi process was then introduced whereby professionals, consumers, and carers rated the appropriateness of the first aid action statements in the questionnaire. The Delphi process is a recognised, systematic method for reaching consensus across expert groups. Following input from professionals, consumers, and carers, the statements were used to develop the guidelines.

Mental health first aid guidelines currently exist for depression, suicidal thoughts and behaviours, non-suicidal self-injury, panic, traumatic events (adult), traumatic events (child), eating disorders, psychosis, problem drinking, problem drug use, and problem cannabis use.

Specific guidelines have also been established for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. These guidelines include: cultural considerations; depression; psychosis; suicide; trauma and loss; problem drinking; and problem drug use.

Contacts

Mental Health First Aid Australia
Level 6
369 Royal Parade
Parkville Vic 3052
Ph: (03) 9079 0200
Fax: (03) 9347 3248
Email: mhfa@mhfa.com.au

Related publications

Cultural considerations and communication techniques: guidelines for providing mental health first aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person (2008)

Mental Health First Aid Australia

These guidelines are a general set of recommendations about how members of the public can help an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who may be developing a mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis. The guidelines provide information on cultural considerations and communication techniques that members of the public should be aware of when providing mental health first aid. The following areas are covered:

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Depression: guidelines for providing mental health first aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person (2008)

Mental Health First Aid Australia

This set of guidelines consists of recommendations for providing mental health first aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is experiencing depression. The guidelines are directed at members of the public who are encouraged to follow the recommendations until professional help is received or the crisis is resolved.

The guidelines provide information on the following areas:

The guidelines were developed based on information provided by expert clinicians and are are respectful of the cultural differences in understanding and treating mental illness.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Hart LM, Bourchier SJ, Jorm AF, Kanowski LG, Kingston AH, Stanley D, Lubman DI (2010)

Development of mental health first aid guidelines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing problems with substance use: a Delphi study.

BMC Psychiatry; 10: 78

Retrieved 11 October 2010 from http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-244x-10-78.pdf

Hart LM, Jorm AF, Kanowski LG, Kelly CM, Langlands RL (2009)

Mental health first aid for Indigenous Australians: using Delphi consensus studies to develop guidelines for culturally appropriate responses to mental health problems.

BMC Psychiatry; 9(1): 47

Retrieved from http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-244X/9/47

Problem drinking: guidelines for providing mental health first aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person (2008)

Mental Health First Aid Australia

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) provides training to members of the public in how to support someone in a mental health crisis situation or who is developing a mental disorder. MHFA training can assist in early intervention and in the ongoing community support of people with mental illnesses.

This set of guidelines consists of recommendations for providing mental health first aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who may be experiencing problem drinking. The guidelines address the following areas:

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Problem drug use: guidelines for providing mental health first aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person (2010)

Mental Health First Aid Australia

These guidelines describe how members of the public should provide first aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who may be experiencing problem drug use. The role of the first aider is to assist the person until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves. The guidelines aim to be respectful to cultural differences in understanding and treating problem drug use.

Mental Health First Aid Training and Research Program abstract

Psychosis: guidelines for providing mental health first aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person (2008)

Mental Health First Aid Australia

This set of guidelines consists of recommendations for providing mental health first aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is experiencing psychosis. The guidelines are directed at members of the public who are encouraged to follow the recommendations until professional help is received or the crisis is resolved.

The guidelines provide information on the following areas:

The guidelines were developed based on information provided by expert clinicians and are are respectful of the cultural differences in understanding and treating mental illness.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Suicidal thoughts and behaviours and deliberate self-injury: guidelines for providing mental health first aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person (2008)

Mental Health First Aid Australia

This factsheet is directed at members of the public and contains a set of recommendations for providing mental health first aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who may be suicidal or deliberately injuring themselves. The information provided in the factsheet includes:

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Trauma and loss: guidelines for providing mental health first aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person (2008)

Mental Health First Aid Australia

This set of guidelines consists of recommendations for providing mental health first aid to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who has experienced trauma or loss that has led to ongoing feelings of grief or distress. The guidelines are directed at members of the public who are encouraged to follow the recommendations until professional help is received.

The guidelines provide information on the following areas:

The guidelines were developed based on information provided by expert clinicians and are are respectful of the cultural differences in understanding and treating mental illness.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Links

 
Last updated: 6 June 2013
 
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