What is the instructor training program?
The Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training program may be delivered by instructors who work independently from the MHFA Program, and which are either working for another organisation or running their own business.
A 5-day Instructor Training Program accredits suitable candidates to conduct the MHFA training program in their communities or workplaces. Most participants choose to become instructors because it is relevant for their job or because they have someone close who is affected by a mental health problem.
What are the contents of the Instructor Training Program?
The Instructor Training Program covers:
- The origins for Mental Health First Aid (MHFA): Research and evidence base for the training program. International development of MHFA.
- Introduction to Mental Health First Aid in South Africa: mental health problems in South Africa; common mental health illnesses and the five step action plan for mental health first aid:
Approach the person, assess, and assist with any crisis
Give support and information
Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help
Encourage other supports
- First aid for developing mental health problems: Depression; Anxiety; Psychosis; Substance Use Disorder. Topics addressed are: definition, symptoms, causes, resources and five step action plan for depression, anxiety, psychosis and substance use disorder.
- First Aid for Mental Health Crisis: Crisis first aid for suicidal thoughts, non suicidal self injury, panic attacks, traumatic events, acute pshycosis and aggressive behavior
- Learning styles and the Teaching Toolkit: Key principles about adult learning and learning styles. How to use the Mental Health First Aid Teaching Toolkit to effectively deliver the training program.
- Group facilitation and adult learning: Strategies to facilitate learning in training programs. Criteria to empowering and effective learning facilitation.
How to become an accredited instructor?
There are six steps to become and accredited instructor:
- Submit a successful application for an Instructor Training Program.
- Be assessed by the trainer of instructors for your course at the end of day three of the Instructor Training Program. This assessment is based on observation of your communication skills, knowledge and attitudes.
- Give a successful presentation for 45 minutes on a selected module on day five of the training program. You will be informed of your topic on day three.
- Sign and return and acknowledgement of the copyright materials and standardisation of the mental health program.
- Pay a fee of R15,000 for the training and accreditation.
As an accredited instructor you will receive the Instructor Kit including DVDs, printed and on-line resource materials.
To remain an accredited instructor you are required to conduct at least three mental health first aid courses per year and attend a one day refresher course annually where you are updated with the latest developments in mental health first aid. This course has a cost of R2500.
Who can become an instructor?
The selection criteria are:
- good teaching and communication skills,
- good knowledge about mental illnesses and treatments,
- favourable attitude towards people with mental health problems,
- good interpersonal skills,
- personal or professional experience with people with mental health problems,
- good knowledge of mental health and community services,
- enthusiasm to reduce stigma associated with mental illness,
- good support systems either at work or home.
A selected trainee MHFA instructor maybe either self funded or sponsored by an organisation such as an employer.
What is the Delivery Model?
Once you are accredited you may start delivering the Mental Health First Aid training program in your own business or in the organization you work for. As a MHFA instructor you are responsible for:
- Purchasing course material from the administrator (Mental Health First Aid) for all participants attending to the programs you deliver.
- Supplying details of all courses you deliver and details of participants who receive training to the administrator. You will do that through an on-line management console. This enables certificates to be supplied and ensures consistent quality of delivery.
Participants of the Mental Health First Aid Program you deliver will be requested to supply feedback and may be contacted at a later date by the administrator to evaluate the program.