Questions and Answers

  • Who stands behind ensa?

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    ensa is a project of the Swiss Foundation Pro Mente Sana, launched with the generous support of the Beisheim Foundation. While Pro Mente Sana works for the mental wellbeing of everybody in Switzerland, and particularly for the social and vocational integration of people with a mental impairment, the Beisheim Foundation – together with partner organizations – initiates and promotes projects to solve key societal challenges. Together we succeeded in bringing the Australian programme ‘Mental Health First Aid’ to Switzerland.
  • What does "ensa" mean?

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    The word "ensa", which comes from one of the more than 300 languages spoken by native Australians, means "answer". We are convinced that ensa delivers the answer to questions of how to help people with mental difficulties.
  • What makes the concept so successful?

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    The content of the ensa first aid course is based on scientific findings. There is no other programme whose effects have been documented by so many scientific studies in recognized specialist journals.
  • Why does ensa exist?

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    Almost everybody in Switzerland is confronted with the subject of mental illness or at least has been in the past. The ensa first aid course is designed to help them. With the focused training they have undergone, ensa instructors provide course participants with the practical expertise they need to recognize mental problems and acute crises at an early stage in people close to them, and to intervene correctly.
  • Where does the idea of ensa come from?

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    Betty Kitchener and Professor Tony Jorm developed the first aid course for mental health in Canberra (Australia) in 2000/2001. Betty Kitchener is a trainer who has been affected by mental problems, while Tony Jorm is a researcher in the field of mental health. Their objective was to make non-experts better able to help when persons close to them exhibit mental difficulties. Since the course was launched, 26 other countries (as at January 2019) have acquired licences and over 2.6 million people (as at mid-2018) have completed it.
  • What is the ensa first aid course about?

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    The first aid course for mental health improves knowledge of mental health, reduces stigmatizing behaviour, increases people's confidence in their ability to help and strengthens their own mental health.
  • How can I support ensa?

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    You can support ensa in a variety of ways, for example by attending a first aid course for mental health or becoming an ensa instructor. We are also delighted to receive donations to the Pro Mente Sana Foundation The Pro Mente Sana Foundation is a ZEWO-certified registered charity.
  • How can I ask more questions?

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    If your question is not answered here, the best thing to do is e-mail us at info@ensa.swiss.
  • What does the ensa course entail?

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    The ensa course starts off with the mediation of basic knowledge about mental health and mental illness. Together we will reflect on the frequency of mental illnesses as well as how we approach people experiencing mental health problems in our society. You get to the know the first aid for mental health in 5 steps and study the most common or most serious mental illnesses (depression, anxiety disorder, psychosis and addiction) First aid in crisis situations will be discussed and practiced throughout the course, as well as how to address and support people showing initial signs of mental health issues.
  • Who can become a first aider?

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    In principle anybody who is over 18 can become a first aider.
  • What do first aiders have that others don’t?

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    First aiders have a basic knowledge of various mental health issues and crisis. They know how to approach the affected person in their personal milieu, to help, support and inform them as well as to encourage them to seek professional help and activate additional. First aiders do not learn how to diagnose mental illnesses.
  • How much does an ensa first aid course cost?

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    The ensa first aid course costs CHF 380, which includes the course material, certificate and ID card.
  • How do I pay for the ensa first aid course?

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    The first aid course is paid directly during the booking process on the website. The following means of payment are accepted: Postfinance, Mastercard, VISA, Paypal or TWINT.
  • Can I cancel my attendance at an ensa first aid course?

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    Cancellation is possible, but the course fee is not reimbursed.
  • Can I register provisionally?

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    No, your registration for the ensa first aid course is always final.
  • What happens, if I cannot fully attend the course?

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    In order to be admitted to the exam and obtain the certificate and the ID card, you must attend all four parts of the first aid course. An absence of maximum one hour is permitted in consultation with an instructor. Missed parts of the course cannot be made up for. If a medical certificate can be presented, the possibility of catching up on missed parts can be considered.
  • Who conducts ensa first aid courses?

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    The ensa first aid courses are conducted by an ensa instructor. They have been prepared by specially qualified trainers of the Pro Mente Sana Foundation.
  • Where and when will the next ensa first aid course be held?

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    You can register for an ensa first aid course directly at Kursseite.
  • Where can I register for the ensa first aid course?

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    You can register for an ensa first aid course directly at Kursseite.
  • How long does the ensa first aid course last?

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    The ensa first aid course lasts for 12 hours in total. It consists of four sessions of 3 hours each.
  • At what times are ensa first aid courses held

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    The times vary. Full details of all courses are displayed at Kursübersicht.
  • Is there a final exam?

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    Yes. After the ensa first aid course all participants receive an electronic link to a survey about the course and the exam. The exam consists of two case studies, each with 5 questions, and 5 true-or-false questions (15 questions altogether). First aiders who pass the exam are sent the ensa first aider certificate and the ensa first aider ID card by post.
  • What documentation do I receive before, during and after the ensa first aid course?

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    We do not send out documentation in advance. You will receive the ensa manual during the course, and when you pass the exam, the ensa first aider certificate and the ensa first aider ID card.
  • What preparations are necessary?

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    No preparations are necessary.
  • How long is the ensa first aider certificate valid?

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    The ensa first aider certificate is valid for three years. After that, the holder must take a short refresher course to maintain its validity.
  • How many people can take part in an ensa first aid course?

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    This is at the discretion of the ensa instructors, up to a maximum of 20 people. We recommend a group size between 8 and 20.
  • In what language are ensa first aid courses conducted?

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    In German, French and English. Courses in Italian are at the planning stage.
  • What does the instructor training entail?

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    The instructor training is carried out in two blocks. The first block of training consists of three consecutive days: On the first two days the standard ensa course is held. This gives the participants the opportunity to deepen and solidify the contents of the course. On day three, methodological/didactic inputs follow in order to prepare the participants for their role as ensa instructors. Professional inputs and background information on the development as well as the effectiveness of the course round off the programme. The participants take a short open book exam on the contents of the ensa course. The second block of training takes place about 2 weeks later and consists of two days. On these two days each prospective ensa instructors present a part of the ensa course. They receive feedback from the trainers and an evaluation of their presentation.
  • Who can become an instructor? What conditions must they fulfil?

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    The preconditions are an ensa first aider certificate, an open attitude towards people suffering from mental health issues, the readiness to conduct at least three ensa first aid courses a year, plus teaching experience and good communication skills. A broad knowledge of mental illnesses and their treatment would be an advantage, as would personal or professional experience with mental health disorders.
  • How do I become an ensa instructor?

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    You are already an ensa first aider. You present your suitability in an application form and submit it to the Pro Mente Sana foundation along with a brief CV via the contact form on this website. If your application is accepted, you will be trained by trainers of the Pro Mente Sana Foundation. The training lasts five days. In the first three-day part the subject matter and respective basics will be conveyed to you. Furthermore the agreement with Pro Mente Sana as a licence holder will be discussed. In the second part you will take the practical exam during two days. After passing the exam you complete three ensa courses as a prospective instructor together with an experienced ensa instructor. If you prove yourself in these three courses you will receive the yearly partner agreement, the instructor certificate and the instructor ID. You are thus entitled to conduct ensa first aid courses and receive your personal log-in on ensa.swiss in order to advertise and manage your own courses.
  • What does the instructor training cost?

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    Special conditions apply during the introductory phase in 2019: the instructor training costs CHF 750. In exchange the instructors are willing to give feedback on the course and to participate in the annual instructor’s day. Presumably from 2020 onwards cost-covering prices will be charged for the instructor training
  • What happens, if I do not fully attend the training?

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    In order to be admitted to the ensa instructor exam an attendance of 90% is required during training.
  • What are the duties of ensa instructors?

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    ensa instructors conduct 12-hour first aid courses where they train mental health first aiders.
  • What fees do I incur as an ensa instructor?

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    There is an annual fee of CHF 200. This entitles you among others to use the ensa course platform, where you can advertise and administer your first aid courses and download course material from your personal login area. The participants pay also the course fees on this platform. In addition, a fee of approx. 1/3 of the course fee is due per course participant. This covers the Mental Health First Aid Australia licence costs, administration, development and quality assurance and the course material.
  • How do I pay for instructor training?

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    Payment is made against invoice. Payment in instalments is possible.
  • Who conducts instructor trainings?

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    Instructor trainings are conducted by specially qualified trainers of the Pro Mente Sana Foundation.
  • How long does the instructor training last?

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    The training lasts five days. It is divided into two parts: The first part, which lasts three days, covers the subject matter and the associated basics, discussing also the instructor agreement. In the second part, which lasts two days, you take the practical exam.
  • Is there a final exam?

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    Yes, a practical exam. It consists of a teaching part of the ensa first aid course.
  • How many courses must I conduct for the status of instructor?

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    Instructors must conduct at least three ensa first aid courses a year to maintain their status.
  • What is the instructor agreement?

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    The instructor agreement is a contract between the Pro Mente Sana Foundation and every ensa instructor. It settles rights and duties, such as licence and attendance fees, the minimum number of ensa first aid courses per year, the use of original course material, the safeguarding of copyrights and the course administration by ensa swiss. You can sign an agreement as an independently or not independently active instructor. Depending on the agreement you are entitled to conduct courses for companies, non-profit organisations or the broader public.
  • Can I as an ensa instructor conduct the first aid course on my own?

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    After the first three courses as a prospective instructor yes, in principle. However, we recommend inexperienced ensa instructors to conduct their initial courses in twos, until they have accumulated sufficient experience.
  • How much do I earn as an ensa instructor?

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    You receive CHF 1,350 for each of the first three first aid courses you conduct for the Pro Mente Sana Foundation until September 2019. From September 2019 CHF 900.-per course. After this probationary period you receive CHF 1,800 per course. If you conduct the course as a self-employed person, what you earn depends on the number of participants. All participants pay a course fee of CHF 380. One third of this goes to the Pro Mente Sana Foundation (licence costs for "Mental Health First Aid Australia", administration, development and quality assurance and course material). You must meet the costs of the course premises.
  • How is employees’ mental health strengthened?

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    Companies and organizations can send employees on ensa first aid courses, or they can have courses conducted internally. Larger companies and organizations may find it beneficial to have employees trained as ensa instructors to conduct internal courses.
  • What does an internal ensa first aid course cost?

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    The Pro Mente Sana Foundation offers ensa first aid courses to companies and organizations for CHF 7,600 in the introductory phase 2019. Thereafter a first aid course costs CHF 7’600 in the non-profit sector and CHF 9’600 in the profit sector.
  • What does the training of internal ensa instructors cost?

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    ensa instructor training lasts five working days, divided in a three-day and a two-day part. We are happy to disclose the costs for companies and organizations on request.
  • Can employees become first aiders?

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    Yes. It makes particular sense in the working environment for a certain proportion of employees to have first aider expertise. The Pro Mente Sana Foundation recommends 10%. This makes a prophylactic attitude to mental health part of the corporate culture, and employees affected by mental problems can be given support at an early stage.
  • Can companies and organizations conduct their own ensa courses for employees?

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    Yes. Companies and organizations can have first aiders trained internally by the Pro Mente Sana Foundation or by independently active instructors. Or they can have ensa instructors of their own trained, who will then conduct internal first aid courses for mental health. Licensing as an ensa instructor is personal, not linked to the company or organization. If you have any questions or queries, please contact info@ensa.swiss.