As scuba divers we have the option to get underwater and escape from all the noise of daily life. We slow down our breathing and tune into the present.

Scuba diving has lots of benefits for us, however, but we do need to be able respond to challenges in the underwater environment. Whether these are external problems, or our own human stuff getting in the way, it’s important to be aware of mental health. Just like paying attention to our physical fitness to dive, we need to be mentally and emotionally fit-to-dive.

How much do you know about mental health? As a community we are becoming more aware that everyone has difficulties sometimes, some more severe than others. Divers tend to get pretty comfortable talking about our physical issues with diving, such as colds and congestion, or injuries keeping us out of the water. But it’s not always as easy to talk about mental health and emotional state. It’s not always understood. And it can be hard to know how to help ourselves or our buddies.

But this is slowly changing and divers, like the rest of society are becoming more willing to discuss this important aspect of our fitness-to-dive.

There is a new Emergency First Response course – Mental Health Awareness. It is an EFR distinctive course, created by a Clinical Psychologist to address stigma and raise awareness of mental health.

Do you know …

  • … how to spot common signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions?
  • … the societal and individual factors that can hinder recovery?
  • … what influences our mental health and wellbeing?
  • … how to recognise when you or someone you know is in mental distress?
  • … where to access support?
  • … the ways you can improve your own resilience and wellbeing, and help yourself stay fit-to-dive.

If you’d like to learn more about any of the above topics, perhaps this course is for you or your team. The course is a half-day, awareness level course, and you will receive an EFR certification.

Course Instructor & extras

This course is provided by Dr Laura Walton, a Clinical Psychologist with 20 years experience in psychology & mental health, and a specialist interest in Dive Psychology. You can read more about career and qualification to teach this course here.

Teaching the course as an experienced psychologist means we can go more in-depth, and share more specific self-care and development ideas. The basic course ends with a focus on maintaining mental health and a “prevention is better that cure” message. In this version of the course we will spend more time on this aspect, to think about your self-care and development – as well as how this relates to your diving.

Dates and booking

This course will be conducted online (via Zoom). On booking you will receive an automated link, and reminders to access the course.

Saturday 17th October 1000 – 1400 (with breaks)

Saturday 28th November 1000 – 1400 (with breaks)

You can also contact for more details.