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Mental Health First Aid


About Mental Health First Training

Mental Health First Aid training is open to anyone looking to learn how to help loved ones, colleagues, neighbors and others cope with mental health problems. Mental Health First Aid is particularly useful for:

  • Medical staff (including doctors, nurses, home health aides, social workers, and others);
  • Mental health care providers;
  • Nursing Home staff;
  • Call center operators;
  • Law enforcement;
  • School personnel;
  • Those with a history of mental illness in their family;
  • And many more.

Similar to traditional First Aid and CPR, Mental Health First Aid is help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a crisis until professional treatment is obtained or the crisis resolves.

Mental Health First Aid is an empirically backed public education and prevention tool- the training improves the public’s knowledge of mental health problems and connects people with care for their mental health problems.

Three quantitative and one qualitative study have shown that the program:

  1. Improves people’s mental health,
  2. Increases understanding of mental health issues and treatments,
  3. Connects more people with care,
  4. Reduces stigma.


Mental Health First Aid was originally created in Australia in 2001 under the auspices of the University of Melbourne. The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare-a national trade group with 1,300 member organizations serve six million Americans nationwide-brought Mental Health First Aid to the US in 2008.

Today Mental Health First Aid is available in such countries as:

  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • China
  • Canada
  • Finland
  • Singapore

Program Components

Mental Health First Aid training includes:

  • Two full days of training by nationally certified trainers
  • Take home materials
  • Refreshments throughout the training’
  • Certificate of completion at conclusion

See a video testimonial from a recent Mental Health First Aid participant and browse additional MHFA videos

Training Process

Trainees go through a 12-hour training program that teaches them a five-step action plan to:

  1. Assess a situation,
  2. Select and implement appropriate interventions, and
  3. Secure appropriate care for an individual experiencing a mental health problem.

Trainees also learn risk factors and warning signs of mental illness and about available mental health treatments.  Upon completion of the training, participants will understand the impact mental illness has on their families, their communities, and themselves.

This program has been approved by The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare-a nationwide organization that ensures Mental Health First Aid trainers are certified, and that programs are supported by empirical evidence.