S61: Mental Health First Aid for the Suicidal Person – course development, roll out and evaluation.

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Fiona Blee, Kathy Bond, Nataly Bovopoulos

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Promotion, Prevention, Early Intervention,Research & Evaluation Informing Practice

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Mental Health First Aid for the Suicidal Person is a new 4-hour course for community members that was developed by Mental Health First Aid Australia and launched on World Mental Health Day October 10th 2016. Curriculum content is based on expert consensus guidelines developed with the Delphi method using both professional and consumer experts from English speaking developed countries. Learning outcomes of the course include: understanding accurate information about suicide rates, risk factors and warning signs; knowing the first aid guidelines of how to intervene when someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviours; and practicing these skills in a safe environment. This presentation will focus on community uptake and feedback of the course, which has been attended by over 200 participants across NSW, Victoria, QLD, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania in the four months since it was launched. The presentation will also present initial results from an uncontrolled trial of the course across Victoria. Knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and confidence in providing assistance to a suicidal person is being assessed before the course, and immediately and six months after the course.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: Attendees will gain an understanding of how evidence is used to inform MHFA curriculum and how new courses are evaluated. Attendees will take away preliminary learnings from the MHFA program that can then be applied to their own work.

Learning Objective 2: This topic is relevant as it will share knowledge with other services providers offering similar programs and provide an example of how community based education programs can be informed by a consensus driven evidence-base incorporating the expertise of professionals and consumers.

Mental Health First Aid Australia. Suicidal thoughts and behaviours: first aid guidelines (Revised 2014). Melbourne: Mental Health First Aid Australia; 2014.
Ross AM, Kelly CM, Jorm AF. Re-development of mental health first aid guidelines for suicidal ideation and behaviour: a Delphi study. BMC Psychiatry 2014; 14:241.

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