About Mental Health First Aid® Maryland

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

Why Mental Health First Aid® ?

Mental Health First Aid® is building safer and more caring communities across Maryland.   Just as CPR trains people 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 to connect them to appropriate care.

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.  We partnered with the National Council for Behavioral Health and the Missouri Department of Health to found this national certification program. Now, over 40,000 Mental Health First Aiders and over 800 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 substance use disorders
  • The ability to identify multiple types of professional and self-help resources for individuals with a mental illness or substance use disorder
  • Increased confidence in one’s ability to assist an individual in distress
  • Decreased stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders

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 community members. Anyone who want to be ready to respond with competence and care  to a mental health or substance use concern or crisis should take the class.

The following Maryland agencies have adopted Mental Health First Aid®:

  • Core Service Agencies
  • Detention and Correctional Facilities
  • Social Service Agencies
  • Maryland State Department of Education
  • Local School Districts
  • Department of Juvenile Services
  • UMBC and other Maryland colleges
  • Faith Communities
  • Local Police Departments
  • Community Behavioral Health Agencies

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