YMHFA has been adapted from the adult MHFA programme developed by Betty Kitchener and Anthony Jorm in Australia. As with the MHFA programme the primary aims are to preserve life, to prevent deterioration, promote recovery and good mental health and to provide comfort to a person experiencing a mental health problem.
The Youth Mental Health First Aid program aims to improve the awareness of mental health problems in the children’s workforce and the public as a whole. The program aim is to reduce stigma, promote help seeking behaviour and to provide initial intervention before professional help is delivered. While the program is suitable for all those working and living with young people, it can be targeted at those working with vulnerable young people, including looked after children, those leaving care, young offenders, refugees and asylum seekers. YMHFA has a focus on some of the issues that are particularly associated with young people such as substance misuse, including alcohol misuse, self-harm and eating disorders.