Does SMHFA work?

Mental health first aid has been rigorously evaluated in Scotland. Participants reported a range of benefits to their own and others mental health.

People have given us many examples of the benefits of SMHFA.
Here are just a few:

  • A person who was considering suicide was helped and given time to reconsider. Afterwards they knew that they didn’t really want to die.
  • Someone with severe depression was helped to think about recovery and to find ways to help herself.
  • Participants on the courses have reported that their own mental health has improved after the course
  • After the training people say that they feel more confident about approaching a person who appears distressed.

We know that:

  • When we offer to help kindly and without judging or talking down to a person they often feel relieved and comforted.
  • When we listen without judging and without immediately trying to fix problems a person will often talk through the crisis and feel calmer and more able to get appropriate help.
  • When we understand the nature of mental health problems they are not so frightening.

You too can learn how to:

  • help in a crisis such as a panic attack or suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • ask questions that will help the person
  • listen without judgment and give the person space to talk about how they feel
  • give relevant information about help that is available.

You can join a course or arrange a course in your place of work or club.