Friday, 13 August 2010

MHFA interventions

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) promotes five basic interventions for a qualified mental health first aider who comes into contact with signs and symptoms of a mental health condition. The action plan for Mental Health has five basic steps under the mnemonic ALGEE.

1. Assess risk (to oneself and the client)
2. Listen non-judgementally
3. Give reassurance and information
4. Encourage the person to get appropriate help and support
5. Encourage self-help strategies

Mental health condition can present across a spectrum, from mild sub-clinical concerns through to severe anxiety, distress and even full-blown psychosis.

A mental health crisis can occur when a person may feel suicidal or having anxiety attacks or be in an acute stress reaction or a person may be out of touch with reality in a distressing psychotic state. MHFA helps participants to develop and practice general strategies in a safe environment, that can be used in a first aid situation.

For a more in-depth course on suicide intervention skills it is recommended to attend an ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) course.

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