What is Mental Health First Aid?


Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour training course designed to give members of the public key skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

Just as CPR training helps someone without medical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps community members assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis.
Participants learn a 5-step action plan to recognize and respond to challenges and crises and receive a three-year national certification upon completion.

Course details


Mental Health First Aid certification, which must be renewed every three years, provides trainees with the ability 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 problem treat and manage the problem and achieve recovery.

Like CPR, Mental Health First Aid is for everyone.

What it covers

Common signs and symptoms of mental illness
• Common signs and symptoms of substance use
• How to interact with a person in crisis
• How to connect the person with help
• NEW: Expanded content on trauma, addiction and self-care
Who should take it
• Employers, managers, board members
• Corporate + non-profit teams
• Hospital staff
• First responders
• Faith leaders
• Community members
• Caring individuals


4 ways Mental Health First Aid supports community wellness


Reduces stigma
Increases employees’ mental health and substance use literacy.
Increases likelihood that employees will reach out to someone who may be facing a mental health or substance use challenge.
Teaches employees how to connect a distressed person with the appropriate resources, in accordance with company policies.

Core Curriculums


Mental Health First Aid
(For all adults)
Appropriate for anyone 18 years and older who wants to learn how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health related crisis or problem. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, psychosis, and addictions.
Youth Mental Health First Aid
(For adults working with adolescents)
Designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis.

Training Logistics


Three learning options:

VIRTUAL. First Aiders will complete a 2-hour, self-paced online class, and then participate in a 5.5-hour, Instructor-led videoconference.
BLENDED LEARNING. After completing a 2-hour, self-paced class, First Aiders will participate in a 4-hour, in-person, Instructor-led class.
IN-PERSON. First Aiders will receive their training as an 8-hour, Instructor-led, in-person course.
Logistical details:
Trainings accommodate up to 30 participants.

Virtual and Blended Trainings require 1 to 2 weeks for mandatory self-paced online coursework.

In-Person trainings include cost of Participant Manuals and Processing Guides, as well as Instructor travel and accommodations.

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Supporting Resources


Mental Health First Aid Participant Manual

Provides detailed information on how to use the MHFA five-step action plan, plus peer-reviewed research on signs, symptoms and how to support others. (Digital included, print additional)

Participant Processing Guide

A supplemental tool used through the training for unpacking course contents and gathering additional insights.

First Aider Self-Care Action Plan

A tool to create a realistic and effective plan to tend to physical, emotional, and mental health.

Community Wellness Resources + Newsletter

Nationwide + digital wellness tools for additional support, exploration, and connection.

Bring some joy to your office with Mental Health First Aid by GetSomeJoy.