mental health first aid training just as vital as traditional first aid qualification

Townsville Lifestyle Support Worker and stroke victim Tristan Stanbrook says mental health first aid (MHFA) training saves lives and he believes it should be more widely undertaken in the community.

Mr Stanbrook understands better than most just how vital being trained in mental health first aid can be.

The Lifestyle Support Worker suffered a stroke as a child and since then has spent decades recovering from the physical and mental impacts.

Now, he’s using his life experience to help others, having undertaken a Certificate IV in Mental Health as well as mental health first aid training with Townsville-based RTO selectability Training.

“After my stroke I had to learn to walk and talk again and do everything with the use of just one arm,” he said.

“It has definitely been tough and my mental health did also suffer as a result.

“But I’ve come through it all and I wanted to use the lessons I’d learned to help others through their disability and mental health journeys so I decided to become a Support Worker.

“I’ve been in the job now for just over 12 months and there have been many situations that without the MHFA training I may not have been so well equipped to handle, it’s helped me to calm potentially life-threatening situations.”

Mr Stanbrook encourages all those working in community services roles to undertake mental health first aid training on top of their Certificate qualifications, but also says the general public would benefit greatly.

“Many years ago mental health was a closed issue, it’s now being more openly acknowledged and discussed but that’s only part of addressing it, we also need to be able to respond to it appropriately, just like any ‘physical’ first aid situation.

“These courses are short, affordable and priceless because they will teach you how to help your family, friends and co-workers when they most need it,” he said.


Training Manager| selectability Training

Training Manager at selectability Training Jonathan Mehigan said organisations should also strongly consider up-skilling at least their First Aid Officers.

“Despite current statistics showing just under 50 per cent of us will experience a mental health disorder in our lifetime the traditional first aid course does not cover mental health emergencies,” he said.

“If you are in a room right now with four other people, statistically, one of you suffer a mental health challenge this year.

“Like any first aid situation, being equipped with the knowledge and skills to respond appropriately in the critical moments could be potentially life-saving.”

Tristan with fellow Certificate IV in Mental Health selectability Training students Nathan and Aba.

Upcoming Mental Health First Aid Courses

selectability Training is offering the Standard Mental Health First Aid Course and refresher as well as the Youth Mental Health First Aid Course in July 2019. 

STANDARD Mental Health First Aid

About the course

Mental Health First Aid is the help provided to a person with a developing mental health problem, worsening of an existing mental health problem or who is experiencing a mental health crisis. This course teaches adults to provide mental health first aid to friends, family & co-workers.


12-hour course completed over four session within two weeks.


Full Course - 15th, 17th, 22nd & 24th July, 2019 (5pm - 8pm) | Refresher - enquire at 


Full Course - $300 | Refresher - $100



YOUTH Mental Health First Aid

About the course

The Youth Mental Health First Aid course will teach you how to assist adolescents and young adults (12-18 years) who may be experiencing a mental health problem or mental health crisis until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves.


14-hour course completed over two session within one week.


22nd & 29th July, 2019 9am - 4.30pm (half hour lunch)


Full Course - $320



Other Courses 

selectability Training offers a variety of Certificate III and IV qualifications with flexible online, classroom or combination study options.

Our courses are proudly supported by the Queensland Government's Certificate 3 Guarantee and Higher Level Skills funding programs. Enquire about your eligibility today.

Enrol now for August start of study.