mental health first aid training

Learn about mental illness, how it impacts the community & workplace, and become accredited in using a practical, evidence-based action plan.


Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based course developed in Australia 20 years ago, and now in almost 30 countries around the world.

The course was the first of its kind and just like physical first aid, provides people with the knowledge and skills to provide first-level support and guidance until the person is connected with professional services.

Hearten Up are accredited to delivered Mental Health First Aid training to workplaces, organisation, communities and individuals.

Participants learn how to assist an adult who may be experiencing a mental health problem, or mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves, using a practical, evidence-based action plan.

This course is based on guidelines developed through the expert consensus of people with lived experience of mental health problems and professionals.

Mental health problems covered:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety problems
  • Psychosis
  • Substance use problems

Mental health crises covered: 

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviours
  • Panic attacks
  • Traumatic events
  • Severe psychotic states
  • Severe effects from alcohol or other drug use
  • Aggressive behaviours.

Upcoming Public Training

Book your place at one of our upcoming Mental Health First Aid training workshops. 

Your facilitator

Joel Clapham

As a former cog in the corporate machine, Joel knows from his own experience how critical it is that businesses and organisations are both capable and comfortable in supporting their people. Because that’s what they are… people.

Joel is a mental health training specialist and consultant, and a Principal Master Instructor in Mental Health First Aid, who is also undertaking postgraduate study in psychology to become a clinical psychologist. 

A former award-winning corporate executive in financial services and marketing, Joel burned out and broke down from major mental health problems in 2016. 

Desperate to avoid the same fate as his father, who died by suicide when Joel was 16, he actively chose to be open, seek and accept help and treatment, and ensure he firstly survived, and then thrived once more. 

Joel is also an award-winning writer and performer with national tours of two solo shows under his belt, both of which looked at mental health, identity and masculinity. 

Joel is a vocal advocate of recognising we are all human beings first, and employees/managers second. 

In establishing Hearten Up, Joel brought together his personal story, experiences, humour, compassion, and training, to help bring more heart to an often-hard world. 

Private Training delivery options


Most of our Mental Health First Aid training is delivered by private arrangement with companies and organisations.

We can deliver this training on-site at your workplace, or arrange suitable facilities for you.

Fill in the contact form at the bottom of the page if you’d like to enquire about private training for your people.

Face to face

for groups of up to 20

12 hours
= 2 x 6hrs OR 4 x 3hrs.

  • Post-workshop assessment
  • Hard copy of Mental Health First Aid manual provided.
  • Wholly online

    for groups of up to 12

    5-7 hours self-paced eLearning
    + 2 x 2.5 hrs live video workshops.

  • Post-workshop assessment
  • Access to electronic version of Mental Health First Aid manual (hard copy can be purchased).
  • Blended

    for groups of up to 20

    5-7 hours self-paced eLearning
    + 1 x 5hr face-to-face workshop.

  • Post-workshop assessment
  • Access to electronic version of Mental Health First Aid manual (hard copy can be purchased).
  • Testimonials

    VFMC have been very proud to partner with Hearten Up to train and certify more than 20 mental health first aiders across our organisation.

    Personally, I valued the opportunity to participate and get a new understanding for contemporary triage of mental health injuries.

    The training manages a serious topic thoughtfully and the learning environment is supportive and inclusive.

    I feel very pleased that so many of our team are accredited to enable them to support colleagues and friends should there be times of crisis in or outside of work.

    It is a powerful capability uplift that will enable all of us to better support ourselves and others post pandemic.

    I thoroughly recommend investing your time to build your own skills to manage life and sponsor others in your organisation to complete this incredibly valuable accreditation.

    Johanna Neilson

    Head of People, Victorian Funds Management Corporation

    I completed this training and immediately felt empowered to confidently work with people in need of help in tough mental health times.

    The facilitator Joel was amazing. He has a wonderful ability to draw all the participants into activities that opened the training into a different lens and helped us be part of the training rather than just a spectator.

    I have already used these skills and they made me feel useful. The people that I speak to feel more comfortable when they know that you have had training and they can discuss issues that perhaps they would not normally bring up.

    Neil Funston

    Training participant

    Joel Clapham is a wonderful advocate for mental health. He is open about his own struggles and isn’t afraid to discuss difficult topics.

    Generous with his knowledge and time, his insights and practical advice have been invaluable for our audiences.

    He’s articulate and a terrific performer, both on camera and as a speaker. He’s also approachable and professional. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with him!

    Lisa Annese

    Chief Executive Officer, Diversity Council Australia

    I work in a male dominated industry, my training could be helpful there where there is a lot of stigma against men and depression.

    The course was delivered and handled respectfully and Joel has an enormous amount of passion that really made the experience easy.

    It gave me so much more confidence in approaching friends, family and work colleagues in checking in on them.


    Training participant

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