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Older Person Mental Health First Aid

Older Person Mental Health First Aid is a specialist two day program that provides students with the knowledge and skills to assist older people experiencing a mental health crisis.

This program is accredited by Mental Health First Aid Australia. On completion of the two day program students may complete an online testing component in order to obtain accreditation.

The 12-hour face-to-face Older Person Mental Health First Aid (OPMHFA) Course is for families and carers assisting people aged 65+. The aim of our Older Person MHFA Course is to train the community to respond appropriately as early as possible to older people developing mental health problems, rather than wait for a mental health crisis before taking action..

MHFA Australia has undertaken a Delphi study to develop guidelines for how family and carers can help a confused older person. The contents of these guidelines have helped to inform some of the curriculum of this course.

What the course covers

Course students learn about the signs and symptoms of the common mental health problems in older people, how to offer initial help, where and how to get professional and other help, what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective, and how to provide first aid in a crisis situation.

Developing mental health problems covered are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety problems
  • Confusion and dementia
  • Psychosis
Mental health crisis situations covered are:

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviours
  • Panic attacks
  • Delirium
  • Unsafe behaviours due to confusion – wandering, unsafe to drive and unsafe in current place of residence
  • Challenging behaviours due to confusion

All MHFA Courses teach how to give the mental health first aid using the MHFA Action Plan ALGEE.

Who can attend a course?

Any interested adult, particularly those who work or live with older people, can attend. Please note this course is not a therapy or support group, rather it is an education course to learn how to give first aid to others.

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