Youth F2F



A little insider info...

A little insider info...BLLC Director, Alena Farrugia is also National Consultant Trainer of Standard, Youth &Teen Programs at MHFA Australia.

 Sounds 'fancy' but what does that mean? It means that she's part of the small team that train up and accredit any Youth, Teen & Standard instructors across Australia.



Completing the Youth Mental Health First Aid will contribute 14 hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Accredited PD in the priority area of Student/child mental health addressing standard descriptors 4.1.2, 4.4.2, 7.3.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

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Adolescence is the developmental period between 12 and 26 years of age, a critical period for the body and brain. This is where we see arguably the largest burst of grey matter in the brain within our lifetime. It’s a period of great self-development, growth, challenge and experimentation. It's straight out amazing.

But here are some hard truths.

Mental Illness is the illness of youth. Our young people are more like to develop a mental illness during this 12 to 26-year bracket than any other time in their lives. This age bracket also experiences the highest amount of suicide attempts. ​

Our role as adults isn’t to ‘save’ adolescents from this turbulent period but rather to support and educate with both current evidence-based knowledge and good humour, after all, none of us skipped this period of development and we all survived.. even if just barely!

Our actions can make a life or death difference to the young people in our community. So making sure we know how to, is everyone's responsibility. 

Course overview

This course teaches adults how to assist adolescents and young adults who are developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. Course participants learn about adolescent development, the signs and symptoms of the common and disabling mental health problems in young people, where and how to get help when a young person is developing a mental illness, what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective, and how to provide first aid in a crisis situation.

Common points of interest:

  • The Standard MHFA course follows a similar structure, however the youth variant is particularly pertinent for anyone who works with or has contact with young people. It explores topics in extended detail and unlike the Standard course, it also covers eating disorders, non-suicidal self-injury and suicide in greater detail.


  • Although the central focus is on adolescence (upper primary to early 20’s), the skills and information taught through the course can also be applied to adults. We would in most circumstances therefore recommend where there is a mixture of interaction between adults and young people, that organisations consider engaging with the youth variant.


Developing mental health problems covered:


  • Depression

  • Anxiety problems

  • Psychosis

  • Substance use problems

  • Eating disorders


 Mental health crisis situations covered:


  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviours

  • Non-suicidal self-injury (sometimes called deliberate self-harm)

  • Panic attacks

  • Traumatic events

  • Severe effects of drug or alcohol use

  • Severe psychotic states

  • Aggressive behaviours

What can I and my team expect from this accreditation?

  • Participants are equipped with correct knowledge and appropriate tools to handle crisis situations within an emotionally sensitive and legally appropriate manner.

  • A reduction in students arriving at a crisis point undetected.

  • A clear and consistent protocol to ensure the emotional and physical wellbeing of staff and students.

  • Pressure on school psychologists and leaders is reduced by having fellow adults correctly identifying and referring young people in need.

  • Improved personal mental health of participants & reduction of stigmatic attitudes.

  • Confidence in providing mental health first aid alongside increased support shown to co-workers.

Am I eligible?

Any interested adult can attend. The purpose of this course is to help parents, professionals, social workers, and other concerned adults to better support our young people. Early intervention is key to risk minimization and the underpinning element upholding a duty of care requirement.

It’s also important to know that there is no prerequisite level of study or work to attend, just as there is no restriction on attending a traditional physical first aid course.

With that in mind, please don't consider this course to be a therapy or support group session. It's an extensive training program to learn how to offer mental first aid to others and understand self-care in more detail. 

Accreditation & CPD Points


On completion of the course, participates are asked to complete a short online, open-book online exam of approx 15 questions. Upon passing participates will receive their Mental Health First Aiders Certificate which is valid for 3 years.

Renewal requires a short refresher course (just as a traditional first-aid certificate operates) and will be monitored and managed by BLLC. If participants do not wish to complete the exam they are presented with a certificate of completion with CPD points awarded regardless of exam completion.

Most professionals can claim attendance towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) within their industry body. Please check with your relevant industry body or BLLC if you are unsure of allocation points.

Below is a sample of industries that can award registered or self-appointed CPD points/hours. This list is by no means exhausted:


  • Teachers

  • Psychologists

  • Social Workers

  • Dieticians

  • Speech Pathologists

  • Audiologists and Audiometrists

  • Lawyers in some states and territories of Australia

  • Orthotists and Prosthetists   



Course Structure & Inclusions


At BLLC we pride ourselves on working with each organisation to find and create the perfect structure for course delivery.

This is a 14-hour course, which typically is delivered as either:


  • A 2 days -back to back 

  • As 2 days -split 

Course participants will receive:

  • The highest leave of professional accredited facilitation

  • A copy of the most current Youth MHFA Manual

  • Additional industry-relevant  supplement manuals and resources- where required

  • Registration and management of accreditation for all participants- including tracking of 3-year refresher requirements for full MHFA courses

  • Ongoing post-training support and MHFA counselling for MHFA officers

  • A Certificate of Completion &/or accreditation