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This is a blended learning course with a half day online before and after the course.

About the course

The course is certificated and participants receive the SMHFA: Young People manual.

Scottish Mental Health First Aid: Young People is a blended learning course. This means participants are invited to spend about 3 hours before the training day and 4 hours after the training day responding to the training materials to embed the learning from the main course day.

Mental Health First Aid: Young People was developed by NHS Scotland and is an evidence based course for adults supporting young people between the ages of 11 and 17.

Participants will receive a certificate on completion of all three stages of the course.

Who should come on the course

Mental Health First Aid: Young People is relevant for anyone who supports young people aged between 11 and 17. This includes, for example, parents, teachers, school nurses, youth workers, mentors, sports coaches and social workers.

The aims of the course

• to provide participants with a better understanding of young people’s mental health
• to equip participants with mental health first aid skills:
- how to recognise the signs of mental health problems or distress
- how to ask a young person about mental distress - how to provide initial comfort and support
- how to guide a young person towards professional help and other support.

Course format

The SMHFA:YP course is a 14-hour blended learning course comprising three parts.

Part 1: a 3-hour online self-study module which includes:

• The policy context in Scotland
• Attitudes, inequalities, stigma and discrimination
• Introduction to the most common mental health problems and crises experienced by young people: depression, anxiety, self-harm, alcohol and substance abuse, eating disorders and suicide
• Recovery
• Professional help
Participants will be provided with access to Part 1 from two weeks before the face-to-face training.

Part 2: one day face-to-face training

The training day focuses on developing practical skills.
Participants are introduced to the step-by-step approach to providing mental health first aid.

Part 3: a 4-hour online self-study module

Building on Parts 1 and 2, this module takes a more detailed look at mental health problems and crises in young people.

The materials include interactive scenarios that enable participants to practice and further develop their mental health first aid skills.

After completing all three parts of the course, each participant receives a certificate confirming their ‘Scotland’s Mental Health First Aider for Young People’ status along with a copy of the SMHFA:YP Manual.


Emily Justice is an experienced Mental Health First Aid: Young People trainer and a Russian translator.

Find out more at