Mental Health First Aid

What is special about this course?

The aim of the course is to teach participants how to help someone who is developing mental health problems, or who is experiencing a mental health crisis. It might be useful to think of the course as the Mental Health equivalent of a physical First Aid / CPR course, but with more background information on mental health conditions and treatment.

The course lasts twelve hours, usually delivered as two six-hour days. It is a condition imposed by the NHS administrators that participants must attend the two full days in order to receive their Certificates. However, it is recognised that parts of the course may be challenging or triggering for some people, particularly if they have personal experience of mental health issues, so there is safeguarding in place and everyone is offered an opt-out of individual sections if they feel they are not for them.

The course is administered by NHS Scotland who provide tutor training, quality control and admin support. Each participant receives a comprehensive manual and a Certificate of Attendance when they have completed the two days of training.

Entry requirements


The course includes sections on Listening Skills, Attitudes, Anxiety, Depression, Suicide, Self-Harm, Alcohol and Drugs, Psychosis and Recovery. The course delivery is by a range of methods including formal presentation, discussion, interactive activities and exercises, case studies, and DVD clips.
The course is relevant for all adults including members of the general public. Participants do not need any previous knowledge of mental health. There are opportunities for discussion of views and experiences, but nobody is put under any pressure to share personal information. There is no test or exam at the end.

How will I study my course?

    How long will my course last?

    12 Hour

    Usually delivered as two six-hour days

    Where can I study my course?

      • Fort William
      • Portree



    What can I do on completion of my course?

    This could be a useful first step towards a Counselling qualification, or a career in Mental Health and Social Care.

    Is there more information available online?

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    Check availability and book your place

    We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI West Highland. UHI West Highland operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.