Mental Health First Aid Training for UNSW Staff

UNSW Sydney is committed to building a mentally healthy workplace. UNSW staff in student-supporting roles are encouraged to get involved by undergoing training including Supporting Students in Distress, Recognise and Respond and Mental Health First Aid. Staff and students who have completed Mental Health First Aid training are also encouraged to join the UNSW Mental Health Network for further professional development opportunities.

UNSW Health Promotion Unit (HPU) coordinates MHFA training for staff in student-supporting roles and students at UNSW Sydney.

Please refer to the UNSW MHFA Training Guidelines for more information.

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid is an internationally recognised, evidence-based training program. MHFA is an early intervention training program designed to empower communities by equipping people with the knowledge and confidence to recognise, connect and respond to a person struggling with mental health issues. The training course serves as a bridge to professional care. Once you have done the training you can become an accredited MHFAider through MHFA by completing an online assessment. Staff and students do not need to complete the online assessment in order to join the UNSW Mental Health Network. 

What’s covered?

  • Mental illnesses: depression, anxiety, substance use disorders and psychosis. 
  • Mental health crises: suicidal thoughts and behaviours, traumatic events and aggressive behaviours.
  • ALGEE action plan: key actions of a Mental Health First Aid Action Plan
  • UNSW support services

MHFA training is a two-day commitment, and therefore is not for everyone, but we also offer training which may be more suitable.

To help you decide if MHFA is the right course for you, we've created the UNSW Staff Mental Health Training Framework to help support your decision.


What's the cost?

To promote engagement and remove barriers to access, UNSW heavily subsidises the cost of MHFA training for its students and support staff. 

  • The current cost is $100 for a UNSW staff member
  • The Standard MHFA Refresher course is $50

What are the MHFA training formats and courses available at UNSW?

HPU offer the following MHFA training courses:

  • Standard MHFA: In-person, two-day workshops, 9:30am-4:30pm. This is predominantly delivered across consecutive weeks (ie. two consecutive Wednesdays) and is shceduled in conjunction with the broader University trimester timetable.
  • Standard Refresher Course: This is available for those wishing to update their knowledge and maintain their MHFA accreditation. This is a single day workshop, 9:30am-2:30pm, and is only offered once per trimester by HPU.
  • Customised MHFA: Upon request and at the discretion of HPU, alternative training formats (ie. online) and course types can be offered to meet the needs of specific UNSW cohorts within the HPU remit. This is offered on a case-by-case basis. For groups looking to access MHFA in this manner, they should contact HPU directly to discuss (
  • Blended Online Community MHFA | 5-6 hours of independent pre-work followed by 2 x 2.5 hour webinars

How do I register?

Multiple dates are available throughout the year. To register for a MHFA course, visit the Humanitix page

For group booking for teams of 10 or more please email

Need a Refresher?

If you are within 3 years of becoming accredited, you can complete the refresher course which gives an additional 3 years of accreditation. We recommend you complete the Refresher course 2.5 to 3 years after completing your first Mental Health First Aid course. 

Staff and students who have completed a Refresher cannot complete a second Refresher course - they must attend the full MHFA course again to maintain accreditation. Please check with MHFA Australia before registering if you are unsure about your eligibility.

The course is a half-day in person workshop with no pre-learning.

To register for a Standard MHFA Refresher Course, visit the Humanitix page.

Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider) vs Mental Health First Aid Officer

A "Mental Health First Aider" is a term coined by MHFA Australia that refers to individuals who have completed the MHFA training course.

A "Mental Health First Aid Officer" is an individual appointed into the position. They are recognised by UNSW HR as holding additional responsibilities within their division or faculty in supporting their colleagues. The expectations of these individuals falls under the remit of HR.

Key Contacts

All queries relating to MHFA training courses specific to UNSW, group bookings, customised MHFA offerings and accessibility requirements/reasonable adjustments should be directed to UNSW Health Promotion Unit. Email (please note that this inbox is not constantly monitored).

For all queries relating to MHFA accreditation, MHFA course types, technical issues, eligibility for refreshers, individuals need to contact MHFA Australia.


Phone: +61 3 9079 0200