• African Mental Health First Aid


Many people in communities are affected by mental ill health and struggling to find a way to move forward. The mental health crisis on the continent of Africa is one religious organizations, churches and community leaders and community development organizations cannot afford to ignore.

AMHFA is a digital toolkit, community-led capacity building, non-clinical mental health education program, tailored to the African mental health story, which sadly, reflects a history of inhumane treatment of people affected by mental illnesses, making it a human rights issue. Training equips you with basic helping skills and tools to identify and respond to signs of mental illness so that you are able to help including how and where to signpost individuals affected by emotional or mental ill health. It also creates awareness in mental health education which increases mental health literacy for people to better understand mental health and the signs and symptoms of some mental ill health issues.

AMHFA is designed to help reduce the stigma of ill mental health which is now a human rights issue in Africa, because of negative myths and taboos, causing people affected to be mistreated in families and communities. The training is for anyone and everyone in your communities, churches and organizations

Benefits of the course

  • You will learn how to:
  • • create a culture which is less likely to stigmatise because of a better understanding
  • • provide individuals with more confidence to deal with mental ill health issues
  • • to signpost and know when medical intervention is critical
  • • provide a better understanding of other’s mental health, and importantly it helped me to better understand mine too.

Topics for this course

34 Lessons

1.Introduction to the course?

We are all familiar with the idea of a first-aider as being that person who helps when we have hurt ourselves physically or are ill. They provide help that either precludes the need for more professional attention or keeps the person safe and minimises further damage until that professional help arrives. Mental health first-aiders fulfil a similar function, but the focus here is naturally on mental health rather than physical health. They learn to spot triggers to, or signs of, mental stress and either help and support people through minor problems or steer them towards professional help if their problems are more severe. A mental health first-aider is needed when someone is struggling to cope with an ongoing mental health condition or when they are going through a mental health episode or crisis. Their role is to spot signs of potential problems, assess possible risks to the person and others, listen without judgement, give assistance or encourage the person to seek further help. The first-aider can also provide guidance that will help those struggling to identify and use support strategies so that they can help themselves to live their lives fully.
What is in the course00:00
Introduction to the unit00:00
Statistics on mental health in Africa00:00
Impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of different populations 00:00
The difference between a mental health episode, crisis and condition00:00
Types of mental health issues – disorders affecting disposition00:00
What factors can affect mental health00:00
Signs and symptoms of mood disorders00:00
Clusters personality disorders00:00
Quiz 1.

2.The roles and responsibilities of an African mental health first-aider?

In this unit you will look at the aims of mental health first aid and consider the role and responsibilities of a mental health first-aider. These will include raising awareness within your organisation of the need for good mental health in order to protect staff well-being, which ultimately improves staff satisfaction and overall productivity. The mental health first-aider is also trained to notice how people are coping and to spot potential mental health problems. Being able to spot problems and approach people to initiate a conversation are vital skills. This unit considers the attributes and behaviours needed for the role and considers ways they can be developed

3. Recognize when someone is struggling?

In this unit you will consider ways to assess whether someone is struggling with their mental health and learn about two mental health action plan protocols that can be used in making this judgement. Everyone experiences stress and has bad days, so understanding the extent of the stressors experienced by the person is important in making this assessment. There may be times when an individual struggling with mental health will take steps that cause them physical harm. In this unit you will consider when physical and mental health first-aiders may need to work together in order to ensure a person’s safety and well-being. It is important to understand when a mental health problem becomes a disability and the legislation covering a person’s rights and protection in the workplace. This is discussed and you will be given some points to think through on how someone with a mental health disability can be helped in the workplace.

4. Putting mental health first aid into action?

Some of the topics covered in this unit have been introduced in Unit 2 which discussed the attributes and behaviour needed for mental health first aid work. Here you will look in more detail at how to put these into practice and to encourage others to engage with the support offered through mental health first aid. The unit looks at non-urgent and urgent warning signs. It also considers urgent actions that should be taken in the event of an emergency. At the end of the unit information is provided on how to qualify as a mental health first-aider and the qualification levels that are available

Final Quiz- for AMHFAid


  • The heart that wants to help break the stigma of mental ill health; to help those affected by mental ill health and by standing in the gap as African mental health first aider

Target Audience

  • Churches, Religious Groups & Community Development Organizations and communities

Your Instructor

Shibero Akatsa


I have always had a passion for promoting mental health education and wellness in Africa and beyond.

With 25 plus years of experience, I have brought about psychological, emotional and spiritual wellness in individuals, organizations and communities, through clinical psychotherapy, community psychosocial interventions, personal development and self-care training workshops and consultancy.

In addition to the above work, I am a mental wellness and selfcare script writer and produced and hosted the ‘Shibero Show’, which aims to create awareness on mental health issues especially for communities on the continent of Africa. This can be found on You Tube .


African Mental Healthcare Platform That Brings Positive Change in Individuals & Communities

Nairobi, Kenya


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