Why Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that can help communities understand mental illnesses, seek timely intervention, and save lives.
The core program, delivered to more than 1 million people across the country through a network of more than 12,000 instructors, has already saved lives and brought hope to many.
What is Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid is a groundbreaking public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. Mental Health First Aid is a live training course, which uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect persons to professional, peer and social supports as well as self-help resources.
Mental Health First Aid allows for early detection and intervention by teaching participants about the signs and symptoms of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and addictions. The program offers concrete tools and answers key questions like “What can I do?” and “Where can someone find mental health help?” Participants are introduced to local mental health professionals and resources, national organizations, support groups, and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support.
Mental Health First Aid demystifies mental illness and gives participants the capacity to obtain, process, and understand the health information and services needed to make appropriate decisions and seek care.
Find an Instructor
Certified instructors teach the program in communities across the United States. To find a course or contact an instructor in your area, visit www.MentalHealthFirstAid.org.
Youth Mental Health First Aid
Youth Mental Health First Aid, focused on youth 12 to 25 years, is being rolled out across the U.S. after a year-long pilot. This version is designed to teach neighbors, teachers, parents, peers, and caring citizens how to help a child or teen who is experiencing a mental health or substance use problem or is in crisis. The youth version provides an ideal forum to engage communities in discussing the signs and symptoms of mental illness, the prevalence of mental health disorders, the effectiveness of treatment, and how to engage troubled young people in services.