ensa is first aid for mental health

Taking action ourselves when mental issues arise in the people around us, instead of waiting for someone else to raise the topic – generally far too late.

ensa is first aid for mental health

Taking action ourselves when mental issues arise in the people around us, instead of waiting for someone else to raise the topic – generally far too late.

It works, for everyone: act now!

ensa is the Swiss Version of the Australian Mental Health First Aid programme. It was launched in Switzerland in 2019 by the Swiss Foundation Pro Mente Sana with the support of the Beisheim Foundation.

Betty Kitchener and Professor Tony Jorm developed the first aid course for mental health in Australia in 2000/2001 within the framework of the Mental Health First Aid programme. Their objective was to develop a first aid training programme for mental health problems similar to the broadly accepted principles for physical first aid (or emergency first aider courses)..

The idea is to train and empower non-experts to provide initial support to people close to them who are developing mental health issues, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or an acute mental health crisis.

In the ensa first aid course, specially trained instructors teach basic knowledge about mental health disorders in four modules of three hours each, as well as concrete first aid measures for problems and crises.

Why is there a need for ensa?

Every second person in Switzerland experiences a mental health issue once in their lives. Almost everybody knows someone who does not enjoy – or has at some time in the past not enjoyed – good mental health.

It is important to recognize mental health problems in family members, friends or colleagues at an early stage, to proactively approach people suffering mental distress, offering their support. Because the longer we wait, the worse problems can become.

ensa makes a contribution to the destigmatisation of mental illness.

Who can become a first aider?

Anyone over 18

What do people need in order to be an instructor?

An ensa first aider certificate and the motivation to conduct first aid courses themselves.

How can I train first aiders in my company?

With specially-designed company courses