Respond to a Mental Health or Substance Use Concern with Care and Compassion
Mental Health First Aid® is for everyone. People whose occupations have a high level of daily interaction with the public, such as first responders, nurses, teachers, and police officers, have found the course very valuable. In addition, people who have taken Mental Health First Aid, have found the course to be relevant and useful in their personal lives.
Mental Health First Aid® is a public education national certification course. Participants learn to recognize and respond to the signs and symptoms of an emerging mental health problem or crisis, to identify community resources, and to link individuals in need of support to appropriate care. This skills-based course includes a 5-step action plan which can be used in various types of crisis and non-crisis situations.
The 5 Step Action Plan, ALGEE, includes:
Assess for risk of suicide or harm
Give reassurance and information
Encourage appropriate professional help
Encourage self-help and other support strategies
Adult Mental Health First Aid:
Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) builds skills to help adults age 18 and older who may be experiencing a mental health problem or crisis and to connect those adults to care, as appropriate. The core program is available in both English and Spanish.
Population-specific modules are available:
- Older Adult: Mental health concerns may manifest differently later in life. The older adult module highlights some of these differences.
- Veterans: Veterans may experience mental health problems unique to the situations they have experienced. This module is for veterans or those who work with veterans and their families to help them understand the signs and symptoms that are unique to this population.
- Higher Education: This module focuses on issues particular to the college population. College is a time of transition, when a young person may experience mental health problems for the first time. The need for mental health treatment on college campuses is rapidly growing. This module helps students, faculty, and staff learn the warning signs and ways to help.
- Public Safety: This module is designed for those who work in fields such as law enforcement, corrections, and public safety. It helps participants to better understand how mental health and substance use issues may show up in their work and the best ways to respond when a crisis arises.
- Fire/EMS: This module focuses on the unique experiences and needs of firefighters and EMS personnel and is a valuable resource that can make a difference in their lives, their families’ lives and the communities in which they live. Firefighters and EMS workers learn about the importance of early intervention and how, as first responders, they can intervene in the field and provide direct assistance to someone who is experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis.
- Rural: This module teaches people how to notice and respond to signs of mental health and addiction challenges with a specific focus on the cultural and environmental factors related to life in rural areas.
Youth Mental Health First Aid Course:
The Youth Mental Health First Aid course is designed for adults who work with youth, ages 12-18. The youth program teaches signs and symptoms of emerging mental health problems and how to differentiate potential problems from typical adolescent development. The course is available in both English and Spanish.
Instructor Training Course:
Bring Mental Health First Aid to your organization or community and become a certified instructor. The five-day instructor training uses the train-the-trainer model and fully prepares you to teach either the core or youth course. Already an instructor? Consider dual certification to teach both the core and youth courses.
As of July 1, 2022 Category I Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are NOT available for youth and adult instructor trainings.
We encourage people to submit for Category II when renewing their license and can provide documentation to supplement your request upon request. Please note that we cannot guarantee any determination made by NASW or other licensing agencies.
If you are interested in obtaining CEUs for attendance at training, please contact MHFA MD at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to training.