Mental Health First Aid USA
As we read and watch stories about mental health, many people find themselves asking questions such as "What could've caused this person to behave this way?" and "Why couldn't they just get help?". Unfortunately, mental illness has been gaining widespread attention across the nation over the past several years in a more unfavorable way. As we take a moment to process tragic events, some may wonder what would they have done in certain situations. Fortunately, we are a nation of progress which means we have the opportunity to increase our education, bring awareness to others and help save lives. If you are wondering how you can join this progressive movement, take a moment to read about Mental Health First Aid to see if you and/or others can benefit from it.
About Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a groundbreaking public education program that helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Mental Health First Aid USA is managed, operated, and disseminated by three national authorities — the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health.
Mental Health First Aid is offered in the form of an interactive 8-hour course that presents an overview of mental illness and substance use disorders in the U.S. and introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. Those who take the 8-hour course to certify as Mental Health First Aiders learn a 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources, and knowledge to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help. The 8-hour Mental Health First Aid USA course has benefited a variety of audiences and key professions, including: primary care professionals, employers and business leaders, faith communities, school personnel and educators, state police and corrections officers, nursing home staff, mental health authorities, state policymakers, volunteers, young people, families and the general public. See how you can get involved — find an 8-hour Mental Health First Aid course near you or learn how you can become a certified instructor to teach the 8-hour course in your community.
What You Will Learn:
The potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems, including: depression, anxiety/trauma, psychosis, 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.
Who Can Take MHFA?
Specific audiences for each training vary, but include key professions such as:
Primary Care Professionals
School Administration and Educators
Other participating entities include:
Chambers of Commerce
Mental Health Advocacy Organizations
Social Services Agencies