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Mental Health First Aid
Become a MHFAider - 1,180 MHFAiders trained!

General information

Mental Health First Aid is an interactive 8 hour public education program that helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. 

Participants will gain an overview of mental illness and substance use disorders in the U.S., learn the risk factors and warning signs, build understanding of the impact of mental illnesses, and reviews common treatments.

Those who take the course to become certified as Mental Health First Aiders learn a 5-step action plan encompassing skills, resources and knowledge to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

To take a course or to host a course at your location, contact Natalie Andrade

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should become a Mental Health First Aider?

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 community are highly encouraged to become Mental Health First Aiders.

How long is the Mental Health First Aid training?

The Mental Health First Aid training is 8 hours. Participants must attend the entire 8 hours to become certified.

Can we shorten or condense the training?

No. The evidence-based program is designed to run for 8 hours.

Can the training be split into two parts?

Yes. The training can be offered in a variety of formats. Most often, the training is provided in one 8 hour day, or in two 4-hour sessions spaced over a short period of time. 

What is the class size?

The training can accommodate a class size of 15 to 30 individuals. 

Is the program evidence-based?

Yes. In July 2013, the federal government added Mental Health First Aid to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). Mental Health First Aid has strong evidence backing it. Data from three quantitative and one qualitative studies has shown that the program improves people’s mental health, increases understanding of mental health issues and treatments, connects more people with care, and reduces stigma.

Do I receive a certificate for completing the training?

Yes. Participants will receive a certificate after completing the course. The certification expires in three years from the day participants were trained. 

What is included in the training?

Lunch, manuals, and materials are provided free of charge.

How much does the training cost?

The training is free of charge.

Is the course offered in other languages?

The course is offered in English and Spanish

How do I register for a training?

To register for a training, please contact Natalie Andrade at (510) 372-8548 or nandrade@smcgov.org

How can I bring the training to my work site?

Certified instructors are available to provide free training to groups of 15-30 people.  If interested, please contact Natalie Andrade, Program Coordinator, at (650) 372-8548 or nandrade@smcgov.org

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