About Mental Health First Aid® Maryland

Did you know that you are more likely to encounter someone having a mental health crisis than a heart attack? The fact is, mental health problems are common. Nationally, 1 in 5 people live with a mental illness. Unfortunately, due to stigma associated with mental illness, many people unsure of about proper way to respond.

Why Mental Health First Aid® ?

Mental Health First Aid® is building safer and more caring communities across Maryland by training people to recognize the signs of a mental health or substance use concern or crisis and giving them the tools they need to be prepared to help. Just as CPR trains people to to help someone in a physical crisis, Mental Health First Aid® teaches people how to recognize and respond to a person experiencing a mental health or substance use concern or crisis and connect them to the appropriate care they may need.

We’ve been offering Mental Health First Aid® from its inception.

The Mental Health Association of Maryland and the Maryland Department of Behavioral Health have been part of Mental Health First Aid USA since the program’s inception when we partnered with the National Council for Behavioral Health and the Missouri Department of Health to found this 8-hour national certification. Now, over 36,000 Mental Health First Aiders and over 700 Mental Health First Aid Instructors have been trained across the state of Maryland. Imagine the impact!

Evidence shows that Mental Health First Aid® results in:

  • Increased knowledge of the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of mental illness and addictions
  • The ability to identify multiple types of professionals and self-help resources for individuals with a mental illness or addiction
  • Increased confidence in and likelihood to help an individual in distress
  • Decreased stigma surrounding mental illness

Who should take Mental Health First Aid®?

Mental Health First Aid® is for everyone, from public school teachers and volunteer scout leaders to police officers and every day citizens who want to be ready to respond to a mental health or substance use concern or crisis with care and competence. Over 37,000 Marylanders have taken a Mental Health First Aid course and over 700 have become Mental Health First Aid instructors.

Key agencies that have adopted Mental Health First Aid® in Maryland include:

  • Core Service Agencies in Maryland
  • Detention and correctional facilities
  • Social Services
  • Maryland State Department of Education
  • Local school districts
  • Department of Juvenile Services
  • Maryland Police and Corrections Training Commission
  • UMBC and other Maryland colleges
  • Faith Communities


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