Mental Health First Aid Training for Rare Voices Australia Partner Organisations

RVA News

Rare Voices Australia (RVA) is currently working on a mental health and wellbeing project based on recommendations in the National Strategic Action Plan for Rare Diseases (the Action Plan). Thank you to the RVA Partner organisations that have contributed to this project so far.

One aim of the project is to build the capacity of rare disease organisations to provide wellbeing and mental health support to their rare disease community. This aligns with Action 2.5.3 of the Action Plan and responds to feedback received from rare disease organisation leaders during the Action Plan consultation process.

RVA is pleased to be working with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia to offer RVA Partner organisations the opportunity to train one leader in their organisation who is willing to be a MHFA Officer for their community and potentially, others in the rare disease community. More information about MHFA Australia. This initiative is funded through the Rare Disease Awareness, Education, Support and Training (RAREST) Project.

What is involved and what commitment am I making?

It is expected that those volunteering to complete the MHFA training are willing and have the capacity to provide MHFA support to their rare disease community on an ongoing basis. The training is provided using Australian contexts and resources. This MHFA program supports adults.

Please read the details and commitments involved in completing the course.

1. The course is run over two separate online videoconference sessions, each 3 hours in length (see the below times and dates for more)

2. There is also a self-paced e-learning component (approximately 5 to 7 hours in length) that needs to be completed prior to the first videoconference session

Who is eligible to participate in this training?

MHFA Australia states that to be eligible to complete this MHFA training, participants must be:

  • Australian residents  
  • Over the age of 18  

Additionally, RVA asks that:

  • You have access to and can use a computer with an internet connection to participate in the course via videoconference  
  • You are currently a rare disease group leader or are in a position of leadership within an RVA Partner organisation  
  • You do not have current MHFA accreditation  

What is the cost?

RVA will cover the costs of the MHFA course, which will be delivered in an online format. This includes a hard copy of the MHFA manual that will be mailed to you.

Final MHFA training session:

  • Tuesday 15 November and 22 November 2022 from 6pm to 9pm AEST – RSVP by Tuesday 8 November 

The final MHFA training sessions for 2022 in November are now at capacity. However, RVA Partner organisation representatives can add their name to a wait list by completing this form.

If you have any questions regarding this training, please contact:

How does our organisation lodge our interest in participating?

If your proposed participant meets the eligibility criteria and would like to participate in the next MHFA course, please complete this form.

Please note: if the applicant is confirmed as a participant, the contact information provided in the form above will be provided to the MHFA course facilitator for the program so they can liaise directly with attendees.

Youth and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People MHFA Courses

RVA is also planning to support a small number of people to complete the youth and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people MHFA training courses. These courses are for adults living or working with adolescents and those interested in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people MHFA training.

If you are interested in completing these courses, please reach out via email:

Meet Your Facilitator Cate Clark

The course will be facilitated by MHFA instructor Cate Clark. Cate is a highly skilled Credential Mental Health Nurse with extensive experience across all aspects of mental health in both the public and private sectors. Over her 40 years as a practitioner, she has developed an approach focussed on trauma-informed care and recovery-based interventions. Cate is a creative person with a passion for mental health and a genuine interest in people. She has a particular interest in working with families and carers and in capacity building in communities. Read more about Cate and her role as an MHFA instructor.