Scotland's Mental Health First Aid: Young People

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Health In Mind

40 Shandwick Place



United Kingdom

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Event description


Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid: Young People (SMHFA:YP), developed by NHS Health Scotland, is an evidence-based course for adults supporting young people aged between 11 and 17 years old.

Mental health first aid was developed in Australia and is based on the concept of general first aid training. Mental health first aid is the help given to someone experiencing a mental health problem before other help can be accessed.

Aims of the course

1) to provide participants with a better understanding of young people’s mental health;

2) to equip participants with mental health first aid skills:

- how to recognise the signs of mental health problems or distress

- how to ask a young person about mental distress

- how to provide initial comfort and support

- how to guide a young person towards professional help and other support

Who should attend?

This course is relevant for anyone who supports young people aged 11-17. This includes, for example, parents, teachers, school nurses, youth workers, mentors, sports coaches, and social workers.

Course format

The SMHFA:YP course is a 14-hour blended learning course consisting of three parts.

Part 1: online self-study module - 3 hours


  • The policy context in Scotland

  • Attitudes, inequalities, stigma and discrimination

  • Introduction to the most common mental health problems and crises experienced by young people: depression, anxiety, self-harm, alcohol and substance abuse, eating disorders, suicide

  • Recovery

  • Professional help

Participants will be provided with access to Part 1 from 2 weeks before the face-to-face training day .

Part 2: face-to-face training - This will be held on date advertised.

Participants must complete Part 1 before the training day. The training day focuses on developing practical skills. Participants are introduced to the step-by-step approach to providing mental health first aid.

Part 3: online self-study module - 4 hours

Building on Parts 1 and 2, this module takes a more detailed look at mental health problems and crises in young people. The materials include interactive scenarios that enable participants to practise and further develop their mental health first aid skills.

After completing all three parts of the course, each participant receives a certificate confirming their ‘Scotland’s Mental Health First Aider for Young People’ status, and a copy of the SMHFA:Young People Manual.

Comments from previous participants........” I now feel prepared to have these conversations....I feel more confident in carrying out initial mental health first aid”, “We have learned about supporting/talking to young people about their mental health”, “It’s been useful and given more structure to some issues I will address with pupils”, “broadening my understanding of mental health issues and how to approach young people with suicide on their mind”.

Please note: Participants will be contacted via email a few weeks before the face-to-face training regarding access to the online modules.

SMHFA training is not a therapeutic space for resolving personal issues. Individuals are encouraged to take care of themselves and take responsibility for what they share.

More information can be found on the SMHFA YP website http://youngpeople.smhfa.com/


Emily Justice is a very experienced mental health first aid trainer. She regularly delivers the Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid course and also Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid: Young People. Her passion for this work stems from her own lived experience of mental health problems and recovery. Emily is particularly interested in work that supports prevention and early intervention among children and young people. In 2017 she developed and piloted a peer education programme, which is now being used by schools in several local authorities.

Terms and conditions

This course is in Health in Mind's main offices, 40 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh, EH2 4RT. Our training room is on the second floor and is not accessible for people with mobility issues. If you would like to participate in the course and have mobility issues, please contact us and we will relocate the course to an accessible venue.

Training bookings on Eventbrite are paid for by credit or debit card using Visa, Mastercard or American Express. We are unable to issue an invoice/purchase order.

If you need to cancel your booking and give more than 28 days’ notice, we will refund 50% of your fee. If due to unforeseen circumstances we have to change the course date, and it is not suitable for you, we will refund 100% of the payment.

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Health In Mind

40 Shandwick Place



United Kingdom

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