Funded Mental Health First Aid Training for Community Pharmacists and Pharmacy Staff (South Australia)

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Delivery of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to community pharmacists and pharmacy staff

About the program

To improve early identification of mental health issues and appropriate initial support to people experiencing mental ill-health, the South Australian Government (SA Government) through the Office of the Chief Pharmacist is funding MHFA training to upskill community pharmacists and pharmacy staff working in South Australia to improve early identification of mental ill-health and increase mental health support for the community.


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has been commissioned by the South Australian Government to deliver MHFA training to at least 1000 community pharmacists and pharmacy staff working across metropolitan and regional South Australia over the next three years.


Who can participate?

Community pharmacists and pharmacy staff (e.g. dispensary technicians, pharmacy assistants and intern pharmacists) who are employed and work in South Australian community pharmacies are eligible for the funded training.


Why be involved?

Pharmacists are the most accessible health professionals. Community pharmacy is often the first access point to health care for consumers. By upskilling pharmacists and pharmacy staff to identify early warning signs of mental ill health, they will be able to provide support and referrals to mental health services where necessary.

The National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing conducted in 2021 found that an estimated 1 in 5 (21%) Australians aged 16–85 experienced a mental disorder in the previous 12 months.1 The Australian College for Emergency Medicine’s “State of Emergency” report found that on average, 75 patients presented with mental health or behavioural problems at SA emergency departments per day in 2020-21 – up from 65 in 2016-17.2 These patients account for 5% of all SA emergency department presentations – the highest rate in the country.3


About Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training

The delivery of the MHFA for Pharmacy course comprises of an eLearning component and an interactive and instructor led workshop. This blended MHFA course is essential training for all pharmacists and front-line pharmacy staff. Informed by a reference group of pharmacy professionals across Australia, this course teaches pharmacists and pharmacy staff how to assist a consumer who is developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis.


The eLearning component takes approximately 6-8 hours to complete at your own pace.


The workshop component of the course will be delivered in either of the following formats:

  • Digital format: 2 interactive instructor led video conference sessions of 2.5 hours each.
  • Face-to-face format: 1 interactive instructor led F2F session for 4 hours.


The eLearning component must be completed prior to the interactive workshop (digital or face-to-face). Participants who sign up for this course will be provided with an e-token and access to complete the eLearning module through Mental Health First Aid Australia.


How can I sign up to undertake training?

Both digital and face-to-face training sessions are being scheduled. To enrol for a training session, please click below.

To register your interest or to join a waitlist with your preferred date, please email events@psa.org.au


How can I find out more about the program?

For more information about the program, or for questions relating to the program activities, please email SAbranch@psa.org.au




1. National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing, 2020-21 | Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au)

2. State-of-Emergency-D32-MSTC (acem.org.au)

3. SA records nation’s highest rate of mental health ED presentations (indaily.com.au)