Mental Health First Aid
As you know, mental health problems – such as depression, anxiety, impulse control and misuse of alcohol and other drugs – are shockingly common in the US. In fact, more than 1 in 4 American adults will have a mental health problem in a year.
New! Mental Health First Aid Moves to an 8-Hour Format
response to continued demand for a shorter course, Mental Health First
Aid USA decided to test the feasibility of shortening the course while
retaining the crucial content, spirit, and fidelity of the program. We
are pleased to have a new streamlined format, which is 8 hours of
content that can be presented either over one long training day or
What's the Goal?
The goal of Mental Health First Aid is to increase mental health literacy. Like CPR training helps a non-medical professional assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps an individual who doesn’t have clinical training assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis. In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives, with the added underlying intention to promote health literacy.
What Will You Learn?
Mental Health First Aiders learn to apply a single strategy in helping someone through a panic attack, engaging with someone who may be suicidal, supporting a person experiencing psychosis and helping an individual who has overdosed. In practicing the intervention strategy, you will learn the risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses such as anxiety, depression, psychosis and addiction; engage in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness; and learn information about evidence-based treatment and support - ultimately building your mental health 'literacy.'
Mental Health First Aid certification must be renewed every three years, and introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments.
Specifically, participants learn:
- The potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems, including: depression, anxiety/trauma, psychosis and psychotic disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, and self-injury
- An understanding of the prevalence of various mental health disorders in the U.S. and the need for reduced stigma in their communities
- A 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources and knowledge to assess the situation, to select and implement appropriate interventions, and to help the individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional care
- The evidence-based professional, peer, social, and self-help resources available to help someone with a mental health problem.
New! Introducing the Youth Mental Health First Aid Course
LifeWays is excited to announce a new curriculum focused on helping youth (ages 12-18) who may be experiencing a mental health challenge or in a crisis.
Youth Mental Health First Aid is a public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and most importantly – teaches individuals how to help a youth in crisis or experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.
Mental Health First Aid USA worked with experts at the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development to adapt the Australian youth manual for US audiences. Mental Health First Aid USA is grateful for the support from the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch at the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services in the development of the youth manual.
What Will Your Learn in Youth Mental Health First Aid?
The course teaches you the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorder. You do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling – rather, you learn a core five-step action plan to support an adolescent developing signs and symptoms of mental illness or in an emotional crisis.
Who Should Take Youth Mental Health First Aid?
The course is designed for adults whom regularly interact with adolescents, but may also be appropriate for older adolescents (16 and older) so as to encourage youth peer to peer interaction. Anyone who regularly works or interacts with youth – teachers, athletic coaches, mentors, juvenile justice professionals – may find the course content useful. The core Mental Health First Aid course has been successfully offered to a variety of audiences including hospital staff, employers and business leaders, faith communities, law enforcement, and the general public.
Note: Youth Mental Health First Aid is not specifically designed for parents of youth with mental health challenges. Although parents & families may find the course content useful, the course provides a basic level of information and guidance, rather than more in-depth information on navigating the healthcare system, which parents may wish to explore.
The standard course fee is $75 per participant and includes a full-color 130-page workbook, training materials, and lunch. If you are unable to attend the course for which you have registered, kindly cancel at least three business days in advance. Your timely cancellation entitles you to receive credit toward another training course or a refund. No credit or refunds will be issued if you fail to notify us in advance. As an alternative, substitutions are permitted at any time.
A limited number of scholarships are available for those that work in nonprofit organizations, churches, schools and law enforcement offices, as well as individuals receiving services through the LifeWays Provider Network. Scholarship recipients that do not give adequate cancellation notice will not be eligible for a scholarship for one year.
Participants are expected to attend all sessions and full payment is required if the participant is registered for any part of the workshop. Certificates will only be issued to participants who attend all 8 hours of the course.
Check out our brand new section, dedicated to answering popular questions and answers about Mental Health First Aid!
What People Are Saying About Mental Health First Aid:
"I loved it. It was a good way for me to learn new things to help my family members who have mental illnesses."
"I learned some practical applications and ways to positively respond to crisis situations."
"I learned a lot about myself and other people that I did not know before."
Who should become a Mental Health First Aider?
Specific audiences for each training vary, but include key professions, such as law enforcement and other first responders, nursing home staff, and school administration. Other participating entities include faith communities, employers and chambers of commerce, state policymakers, mental health advocacy organizations and families and the general public.
Information About CEUs
The Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid courses are approved for
8 Continuing Education (CE) Hours by the Michigan Social Work Continuing
Education Collaborative and is recognized by the State of Michigan,
Department of Community Health, Licensing Division for Social Work.
The Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid courses are pending approval for 8 General Recertification Credit Hours by the Society of Human Resource Management's HR Certification Institute. These hours relate to the Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) certifications.
To add 8 CEs via SHRM and/or MSWCEC to your registration, please add it to your order when you register online.
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for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Mental Health First Aid.