Mental Health First Aid Aotearoa, or MHFA, is a pivotal training programme designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to offer immediate and temporary support to someone facing a mental health challenge or crisis. Much like traditional first aid, MHFA is about intervening effectively during critical moments until the situation stabilises or until professional assistance is sought. In Aotearoa New Zealand, approximately 1 in 5 adults face mental health challenges annually. This underlines the importance of such a programme, as most Kiwis will, at some stage, interact with someone—a whānau member, colleague, or friend—navigating these challenges.
Aotearoa's Unique Approach to MHFA
While MHFA courses receive international acclaim, it's crucial they're tailored to the local context. One Less Thing, a registered Mental Health First Aid Aotearoa course provider in Aotearoa and endorsed by Te Pou, offers courses adapted for our cultural milieu. These courses draw on insights from local mental health professionals, cultural advisors, and those with lived mental health experiences, ensuring a blend of practicality, relevance, and cultural sensitivity.
MHFA courses aim to empower every participant. By the end, individuals are more adept at offering support, whether it's for a family member, friend, or workmate.
Te Pou and MHFA in New Zealand
Te Pou assumed a significant role in MHFA's journey in New Zealand. As the national licence holder since July 2020, they not only train instructors but also adapt the MHFA programmes to align with Aotearoa's cultural ethos, spearheading its nationwide implementation.
Global Roots, Local Relevance
Originating in Australia in 2000, MHFA, managed by the non-profit Mental Health First Aid Aotearoa International, has grown into a global initiative. Over 24 countries now offer the programme, with more than 4 million individuals trained. One Less Thing proudly brings this global legacy to Aotearoa, ensuring each course resonates deeply with our local culture and values, a commitment strengthened by our association with Te Pou.
Mental Health First Aid Aotearoa goes beyond mere training. It's about nurturing a responsive and understanding community. As Aotearoa amplifies its mental health discourse, MHFA serves as a catalyst, fostering a society that genuinely prioritises mental well-being. At One Less Thing, we're on the frontline of this transformative movement.
So What is Mental Health First Aid Aotearoa?
Mental Health First Aid Aotearoa(MHFA) is an essential training programme that equips Kiwis with the knowledge and skills needed to identify and assist those facing mental health challenges or crises. Much like traditional first aid, which addresses physical injuries, MHFA centres on mental well-being. Participants learn to recognise signs of mental distress, provide initial support, and guide individuals towards professional help if necessary. By fostering awareness of mental health issues, MHFA creates a supportive environment in Aotearoa where everyone feels empowered to seek assistance when needed.