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Participant Information


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Project: First Aid Training for Parents of Teenagers – a Randomized Controlled Trial


What is the project about?

The project is about how parents can help look after the physical or mental health of their teenager. The overall aim of this project is to see whether parents who are trained in physical or mental health first aid respond differently to teenagers who develop physical or mental health problems. The project will also assess whether parental training has a positive impact on the teenager’s feeling of support, help-seeking, and mental health. The parent will receive either a free 14-hour Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) course or 15-hour Australian Red Cross Provide First Aid course. In addition, both the parent and teenager will be required to undertake a 20-30 minute telephone survey annually for up to 4 years.

Who is running the project

The project is being conducted by a team at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health,  The University of Melbourne, led by Professor Anthony Jorm, who is also a co-author of the YMHFA course.


Who is funding this project

The project is funded by an National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australia Fellowship, with additional support from the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia, in collaboration with the Australian Red Cross First Aid training program.

Who can participate?

Parents of teenagers aged between 12-15 years and the teenagers themselves, are invited to participate in this project (one parent and one teenager per family in Australia). Anyone who has undertaken MHFA or YMHFA training in the past three years will not be eligible to participate. Anyone who holds a current First Aid Certificate will not be eligible to take part. However, you will be eligible to participate if your First Aid Certificate is no longer current.


What will I be asked to do?
1. Read this Participant Information Sheet

If you and your teenager agree to participate, click on ‘Sign me up’ at the end of this page to proceed to the Registration and Consent Form. You will be asked to provide brief demographic information and nominate a preferred day of the week for you and your teenager to complete a telephone survey, around three weeks after you register. Your email address will be recorded as your Username and you will need to select your own Password.

2. Parents will be prompted to select TWO course dates (one from each type of training course) but you will be randomly allocated into only ONE of the following two types of courses, at no cost to them:

  • a 14-hour Youth Mental Health First Aid course, which teaches adults who care for or work with teenagers, the skills needed to recognize the early signs of mental illness, identify potential mental health-related crises, and assist teenagers to get the help they need as early as possible.


  • a 15-hour (AFA311A) Australian Red Cross Provide First Aid course which  teaches the knowledge and skills to sustain life, reduce pain and minimise the consequences of injury and illness until professional help arrives (formerly HLTFA301B) .

You will be sent an automated email listing both of your chosen courses. At this stage, the computer will randomly assign you to ONE of these, but you will only be advised to which course you have been booked into at the conclusion of your telephone survey. Note: You will not be able to choose a particular type of course.

3. Complete the phone survey
You and your teenager will be contacted by a professional Interviewer from the Social Research Centre for the phone survey. The telephone survey for parents will last approximately 30 minutes and will ask about: your knowledge about mental and physical first aid, confidence in supporting a teenager with a mental or physical health problem and self-reported supportive behaviours if your teenager or someone you know develops a mental or physical health problem and perceptions of your own mental health.

At the conclusion of your telephone survey, you will be advised as to which training course you have been randomly placed in.

The telephone survey for teenagers will last approximately 20 minutes and will ask about: their intentions to seek help and actual help-seeking from family and professionals for mental health problems, perceptions of support from the parent if the teenager develops a mental health problem and perceptions of their own mental health and general social support from the parent. Both surveys will ask about attitudes toward mental illness.

Parents must attend their free course within 4 months of completing their first telephone survey.

4. Parents attend their free training course!
Each training course will comprise a minimum of 12 participants and a maximum of 20 participants. Training courses will be offered at various venues across Australia.

5. Annual follow-up
You and your teenager will be contacted approximately one year after commencement for another telephone survey (lasting around the same time). As this is a longitudinal study (meaning it will run over a few years) we will ask you and you teenager to complete a telephone survey on an annual basis, for possibly up to 4 years (subject to funding being available).


Where can I get further information?
If you have questions about anything that you don’t understand or want to know more about, please contact the Trial Manager, Julie Fischer on tel: 03 9035 6770, mobile: 0401 772 648 or email:

How will my confidentiality be protected?
Any data we collect from you and your teenager will be stored separately from any identifying information to protect your confidentiality. This will be done using an ID number, without your name attached. Data will be held under password protection and not divulged to others. The data will be kept securely by the University for five years from the date of publication, before being destroyed. We will only report the results in a statistical summary form that will not allow individuals to be identified.

What are the potential benefits of this study?

This study is the first of its kind to provide training to parents and focus on the teenager throughout the adolescent period as the recipient of first aid actions provided by their parents. This would allow us to gather important information during periods of potential high-risk in the teenager’s life, which may provide useful insights for updating the YMHFA training program and the Australian Red Cross First Aid training program.

Are there any potential risks in taking part?

We believe there are no risks in taking part in the study. However, if you feel distressed during the training course or phone interview, there are people you can talk to:

  • During the course – speak to the course Instructor.
  • During telephone survey – tell the Interviewer conducting the survey.
  • Other times – contact Julie Fischer during business hours (see above) or if immediate attention is required after hours, call Lifeline : 13 11 14, SANE: 1800 187 263 or Kids Helpline: 1800 551800.


This project will be carried out according to the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) produced by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. This statement has been developed to protect the interests of people who agree to participate in human research studies.


What if I wish to withdraw from the study?
Please be advised that your participation in this study is completely voluntary. Should you wish to withdraw at any stage, or to withdraw any unprocessed data you have supplied, you are free to do so without prejudice. Your decision to participate or not, or to withdraw, will not adversely affect your dealings with The University of Melbourne or the Australian Red Cross in any way.


How will I receive feedback?
Once the research project has concluded, participants will be supplied with a brief summary of main findings. These will also be uploaded to the First Aid Training for Parents of Teenagers website ( We anticipate that results will be published in a peer reviewed journal and presented at academic conferences.


What if I have concerns about the study?

If you have concerns about the ethics of the study, you are welcome to contact the Executive Officer, Human Research Ethics, The University of Melbourne, Vic 3010, phone 03 8344 2073 or fax 03 9347 6739. If you have concerns about the scientific aspects of the study, please contact Professor Tony Jorm on 03 9035 7799.

This study has been approved by The University of Melbourne’s Behavioural and Social Sciences Human Ethics Sub-Committee ID: 1135679, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) ID: 2012_001480 and the Catholic Education Office of Melbourne (CEOM) ID: 1877.