Congratulations to Dr Laura Hart

Congratulations to Dr Laura Hart who has received Suicide Prevention Australia’s, Victorian LiFE Outstanding Contribution award and is now eligible for the National awards to be presented in May.

Laura and Dr Claire Kelly (Director of International Programs at Mental Health First Aid) were both recognised as developers of the teen Mental Health First Aid program (tMHFA) to train adolescents in how to better support peers with mental health problems, including those with suicidal thoughts.

Since the launch of the program in 2014 by Mental Health First Aid Australia, 4,735 tMHFA programs have been delivered across 578 Australian schools to almost 100,000 students. tMHFA has also been licensed in other countries, including the USA, Canada, India, UK, Germany. In the USA, Lady Gaga's Born this Way Foundation funded its adaptation and roll out, leading to >150,000 teens trained.

The tMHFA program has been extensively evaluated in both uncontrolled trials and randomized controlled trials, in Australia and the USA. This research has shown that tMHFA training increases recognition of suicide and appropriate first aid intentions towards an adolescent peer at risk of suicide.