RVA Education: Applying Mental Health First Aid in a Rare Disease Context

RVA News

In 2022, Rare Voices Australia (RVA) partnered with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia to commence work on a mental health and wellbeing project, based on recommendations in the Australian Government’s National Strategic Action Plan for Rare Diseases. Go to this article on RVA’s website for more information. RVA has continued this work in 2023 with opportunities for RVA Partner groups/organisations to participate in Youth MHFA, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MHFA training. Personnel from 62 rare disease groups/organisations completed the MHFA training in 2022. This work is part of the Rare Disease Awareness, Education, Support, and Training (RArEST) Project.

To complement this mental health and wellbeing project, and to assist those working with the rare disease community with MHFA, RVA has developed Applying Mental Health First Aid in a Rare Disease Context as a companion resource. Enrol in the course via RVA’s Online Education Portal. You will need to register via this page if you haven’t already registered on the site. Enrolment is open to all stakeholders.

‘Applying Mental Health First Aid in a Rare Disease Context’

MHFA training is not specific to the rare disease experience. The Applying Mental Health First Aid in a Rare Disease Context companion resource focuses on:

  • Understanding mental health and wellbeing in the rare disease context.
  • Applying MHFA in the rare disease community, including promoting awareness of available resources and referral pathways.
  • The role of rare disease groups/organisations in supporting the mental health of personnel and communities.
  • Self-care and support for employees and volunteers working in rare disease groups/organisations who are providing support to others.

Limitations of this companion resource

Important: Applying Mental Health First Aid in a Rare Disease Context is intended to be used in conjunction with the formal training and accreditation provided by MHFA Australia. This resource does not provide advice or recommendations on mental health and wellbeing. Individuals are encouraged to consult with relevant health professionals when accessing or utilising mental health and wellbeing resources. For immediate mental health assistance, visit the Head to Health website.

How to access the course

This training is available to all stakeholders. Access the course via RVA’s Online Education Portal. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to register on the site to enrol in the course.


This companion resource was developed as part of the RArEST Project with funding from the Australian Government.

Information presented in this course was developed in consultation with people living with a rare disease. RVA and the RArEST Project team would like to acknowledge and thank those who have contributed. Sincere thanks to the RArEST Project professional advisory group and the following organisations: