Mental Health First Aid
Get Involved & Make a Difference
Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.
Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour program that helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. It is a public education and prevention tool that connects people with care for and improves knowledge of mental health problems. Mental Health First Aid USA is taught by certified instructors. Classes are taught virtually either open to the community or privately by contract. Class size is 12 to 20 participants.
Youth Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour public education program which benefits anyone working with or parenting youth ages 12-25. It 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 challenge. Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is taught by certified instructors. Classes are taught virtually either open to the community or privately by contract. Class size is 12 to 20 participants.
Compass Health will send a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor to your organization to give an overview of the Mental Health First Aid course. The presentation takes about an hour and can be extended to include a time for questions and answers.
Contact us about bringing Mental Health First Aid, Youth Mental Health First Aid, or a free presentation to your organization: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mental Health First Aid teaches participants a five-step action plan, ALGEE, to support someone developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or experiencing an emotional crisis:
- Assess for risk of suicide or harm
- Listen nonjudgmentally
- Give reassurance and information
- Encourage appropriate professional help
- Encourage self-help and other support strategies
Like CPR, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person in crisis and connect the person with help. First Aiders do not diagnose or provide any counseling or therapy. Instead, the program offers concrete tools and answers key questions like, “What do I do?” and, “Where can someone find help?” Certified Mental Health First Aid instructors provide a list of community healthcare providers and national resources, support groups and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support. All trainees receive a program manual to complement the course material.
Mental Health First Aid is global movement to improve mental health awareness and provide the skills to help people make a difference in their communities. The program began in Australia in 2000 and has now expanded to 23 countries around the world. More than 1 million people have been trained to date, including Michelle Obama, Kate Middleton, Lady Gaga and many other notable figures.
Mental Health First Aid was introduced in the U.S. in 2008 and, to date, more than 1 million people from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have taken the course. The course is offered to a variety of audiences, including hospital staff, employers and business leaders, faith communities and law enforcement. Approximately 400 people are trained each day, with that number expected to increase.
In 2012, Youth Mental Health First Aid was introduced to prepare trainees to help youth ages 12-18 that may be developing or experiencing a mental health challenge.
For more information or questions about Mental Health First Aid please visit www.MentalHealthFirstAid.org.