Mental Health First Aid


Recovery | Resiliency

DecorativeMental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a public education program that helps participants identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. 

Content is offered in an interactive, 8-hour course that:

  • Presents an overview of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in the US
  • Introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health challenges
  • Builds understanding of the impact of those challenges
  • Overviews common treatments

Just as CPR training helps a person without medical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a person assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

Mental Health First Aid teaches you to:

  • Recognize the potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems, including: depression, anxiety/trauma, psychosis and psychotic disorders, substance use disorders, and self-injury.
  • Use a 5-step action plan to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional help.
  • Interpret the prevalence of various mental health disorders in the U.S. and the need for reduced negative attitudes in their communities.
  • Apply knowledge of the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help resources available to help someone with a mental health challenge treat and manage it and achieve recovery.

Specific topics covered include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance use
  • Eating disorders
  • Psychosis
  • Disruptive behavior disorders

Youth Mental Health First Aid and the Difference from the standard course

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is an 8-hour, in-person certification course for adults who regularly interact with young people/adolescents (age 12-18) such as:

  • Parents
  • Caregivers
  • Teachers
  • Social Workers
  • Probation Officers
  • Camp Counselors
  • Community Members
  • Health & Human Service Workers

Youth Mental Health First Aid is centered on strategies for supporting adolescents who are experiencing mental health or substance use challenges or who are in crisis.  The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development versus potential warning signs, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations.

You can register for a scheduled class by visiting our Upcoming Events page and search for MHFA or YMHFA courses.

For more information or to request Mental Health First Aid Training in your community, contact:

There are three ways to learn:

  1. In-person Option – Learners receive their training during an 8-hour, Instructor-led, in-person session.
  2. Blended Virtual Option – Learners complete a 2-hour, self-paced online course, and participate in a 4.5- to 5.5-hour, Instructor-led-training. The instructor-led Training can be - A video conference or an in-person class.
  3. Blended In-person- Learners complete a 2-hour, self-paced online course followed by a 4.5-5.5 instructor-led portion. 

Mental Health First Aid Upcoming Trainings

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