Managing Students in Distress

“Managing Students in Distress” is a 2-3 hour workshop conducted by CAPS psychologists for staff at UNSW.   The workshop is offered to small groups (max 20) on request by staff units within Faculty or Central Administration. It is also provided annually prior to commencement of the academic year to all college staff, especially focussing on new residential advisers, fellows, assistants etc. 

Using DVD’s designed by CAPS staff, the program provides an introductory overview of how someone may present if they are experiencing problems with depression or anxiety.  We also discuss how to recognise and assist a person who is crisis or at risk of self harm.  We identify and provide resources that can assist staff and students from within UNSW and the local community.  We encourage staff to become aware of relevant policies and procedures, both at the organisation and department level.

This program can be scheduled by negotiation at any time, subject to CAPS staff availability. For all enquiries, please contact  CAPS on 9385 5418 or Email:

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a nationally accredited 12-hour training course offered by Counselling and Psychological Services [CAPS] for staff who, from time to time during the course of their work, may have contact with individuals experiencing mental health difficulties in their area. This program runs over 2 days and is conducted by CAPS psychologists who are also accredited MHFA instructors. Participants receive a course manual and also a certificate at the completion of the course.

MHFA was developed in order to help people provide initial support for someone with a mental health problem. The 12-hour course is designed to give staff some skills to help someone developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis situation.

Similar to the philosophy behind conventional physical First Aid training, MHFA teaches participants how to recognize emerging symptoms, how to offer support and manage crises, by providing early intervention until professional assistance can be obtained. It outlines basic strategies for responding to a range of issues. MHFA training is based on the notion that mental health crises, such as suicidal and self-harming actions, may be prevented through early intervention with people developing mental disorders. If crises do arise, then members of the public can take action to reduce the harm that could result.  For more information about MHFA see the website:

Staff interested in learning more about managing mental health issues within UNSW and the wider community may benefit for participating in this 2 day course. CAPS usually conducts 4 or 5 MHFA programs for staff each year. For all enquiries and information about how to register for the next scheduled course, please contact CAPS:

Ph: 9385 5418 (Ext 55418)

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Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building, UNSW Sydney NSW 2052 Australia Telephone +61 2 9385 5418
Authorised by Director, Counselling and Psychological Services
UNSW CRICOS Provider Code: 00098G ABN: 57 195 873 179