The AMHFA course is a 14 hour course that was developed in close consultation with key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals and stakeholders. It is delivered by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander instructors or non-Aboriginal instructors with specialist training and accreditation.
The course covers social and emotional wellbeing and mental health issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, outlining the effects of colonisation and the significant loss and grief issues faced by individuals.
The AMHFA course provides information on the resilience and survival of Aboriginal peoples despite past government policies and practices. It looks at cultural presentations of mental illness and distress and provides information on culturally appropriate first aid interventions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The course provides information on how to locate culturally appropriate mental health resources and services, including a separate chapter on suicide and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). Social and environmental triggers for mental illness are discussed. The substance use section includes inhalants and kava.
Language in the manual has been adjusted in an attempt to better suit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants. It includes Aboriginal artwork in all course materials. It contains a workbook to assist with interaction during the course. Culturally appropriate DVDs developed specifically for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audience are used.