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Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA)


Scotland's Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA) is accredited by SMHFA Scotland and takes 12 hours to complete.  The course will give you the skills and confidence to understand and support different mental health challenges.

  • Be able to spot the signs of poor mental health
  • Start a conversation with colleagues, clients, family or friends who may be experiencing poor mental health
  • The confidence to provide initial support on a first aid basis
  • Learn how to listen and signpost to other supports
  • Know how to manage a mental health emergency

SMHFA is always delivered face to face.

SMHFA Manuals
SMHFA manuals


Who should come on the course?

  • All staff including front line staff, line managers, senior management team and back office staff
  • Other people associated with your organisation such as volunteers or tenants
  • People supporting a family member or friend with a mental health issue

Learning outcomes

The course does not train people to be mental health workers:

  • It offers basic general information about mental health problems
  • Knowledge and understanding developed in the course, helps to remove stigma and fear. This develops confidence in approaching and helping a person in distress
  • Mental Health First Aid is an initial response to distress. All participants on the course understand that this help is given only until other suitable or professional help can be found

On completion of this course delegates will be a Mental Health First Aider and be able to:

  • Identify early signs of a mental health issue
  • Feel confident supporting someone on a first aid basis
  • Help stop a mental illness from getting worse
  • Understand more about depression, anxiety, eating disorders and self-harm
  • Understand what is a psychotic episode and schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
  • Guide someone towards the right support
  • Understand the impact of alcohol and drugs on mental health
  • Know how to respond to a suicidal crisis
  • Support someone to recover faster
  • Reduce the stigma of mental health issues

What clients say about this training

I thought the SMHFA training was excellent.  I have already used some of the techniques to offer support to a friend who is affected by depression and signpost to support organisation shared in the training.  Mickey and Judith were great facilitators, really welcoming, engaging and supportive throughout the course

I really enjoyed the training, the group was great and we all worked well together. Completing this course as a Deaf person has really allowed for Scotland to open more opportunities for mental health awareness which at the moment currently lacks

Course Delivery

  • Face to face
  • This course takes 12 hours to complete and can be presented in a range of formats to suit different groups.
    • Two full days
    • Four half days
    • Six two hour sessions

Booking Information

  • Organisations - Training at your preferred venue on dates to suit you for up to 16 delegates
  • For more information and course booking, get in touch

Mental health training courses overview