1. Course cancelled

    Scottish Mental Health First Aid - 2 day Course

    Audience: Academic staff, Professional staff, Research staff, Research supervisors

    Times: 0930-1630

    Date: Tuesday 2 June 2020 to Wednesday 3 June 2020

    Programme: Passport to Management Excellence

    Key details: Two Day Course - participants need to attend on both 2 & 3 June

    Course information

    Mental Health First Aid was developed in Australia and is based on the concept of general first aid training.  It is a 12-hour, evidence-based course with the aim of improving the general public's awareness and understanding of mental health.

    The course has been adapted to better suit the needs of people in Scotland and is now being delivered as Scotland's Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA).

    The course does not train you to be a therapist, counsellor or mental health professional.

    The course will teach you to:

    • give initial help to someone experiencing a mental health problem
    • deal with a crisis situation or the first signs of someone developing mental ill health
    • guide people towards appropriate professional help

    A recent formal evaluation reported:

    • the majority of participants felt that the learning they had gained from participating in the training would be useful to them in both their work and personal life
    • substantial increases in participants' knowledge and awareness of mental health issues, including their ability to recognise if someone was experiencing a mental health problem and in advising them about how to seek appropriate help
    • there was a considerable increase in the proportion of participants who said they would be prepared to help someone they thought was experiencing a mental health problem

    Course programme

    The 12 hour course, split over two days covers a number of topics including:

    • what is meant by mental health and mental ill health
    • the signs and symptoms of common mental health problems including depression, anxiety disorders and psychosis
    • the range of effective interventions and treatments
    • how to access professional help and support

    Participants will receive a certificate of attendance and a copy of the SMHFA manual, which covers the course content.

    SMHFA instructors

    The course can only be delivered by a specially selected, trained and approved person.  This ensures that all SMHFA instructors have a certain level of knowledge, skill and experience. 

    Lunch will be provided on both days of this course.

    Aims and objectives

    • preserve life where a person may be a danger to themselves or others until professional help has arrived
    • provide help by signposting the person to the appropriate professional help
    • provide initial comfort to a person suffering from mental illness


    Wendy Nicoll

    Wendy’s passion for understanding mental health and working in the mental health sector stems from her childhood experiences of watching how people’s attitudes and behaviours differed towards her parents.

    Wendy’s mother had long and enduring poor mental health issues and her father had poor physical health. These questions from childhood fired her enthusiasm to learn more about mental health and she set out in her early adult years to do just that.

    Now an experienced accredited counsellor and trainer Wendy helps others to understand what mental health is and how we as a community can support each other when we experience poor mental health.


    Wendy is an approved trainer delivering the safeTALK [listening out for talk of suicide], ASIST [Applied suicide intervention skills training] and SMHFA [Scottish mental health first aid] training for both FDAMH Training Academy and the NHS.


    She is a qualified Counsellor delivering the COSCA certificated counselling skills course and runs her own her private counselling practice from her 17th century home in Auchtermuchty Fife.


    C5 Seminar Room, Bute Building - This venue does not have full mobility access. If you have any access requirements, please contact OSDS direct at osdscourses@st-andrews.ac.uk

    Course provider

    Email: ceed-osds@st-andrews.ac.uk