Mental Health First Aid Training at Lahey Health

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training teaches us how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. This evidence-based program helps us to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders.  This is the counterpart of CPR training, i.e., if we witnessed someone showing signs of cardiac distress, what we can and should do as bystanders (including calling 9-1-1).

Background: To date, over a million Americans have been trained in this nationwide program, and one of the first trainees is U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.  Check out Mental Health First Aid’s current Twitter campaign, #BeTheDifference.

Who Takes This Training: MHFA has trained teams of police, EMTs, teachers, youth workers, parents, ED workers and more. As the leading provider of community-based mental health services north of Boston, we are excited to provide this educational opportunity to our non-profit neighbors on the North Shore and in the Merrimack Valley. To date, we at LHBS have trained 452 people in greater Boston. Read this article in “The Boston Globe” about our training in the City of Gloucester schools.

Upon completion, each participant is MHFA certified for three years and may renew his or her certification online.

How people get trained: Lahey’s certified trainers deliver this interactive training to a group of pre-registered trainees (no fewer than 10 and not more than 30). The training is tailored to those who work with youth or those who work with adults. Also, some of the vignettes are tailored for specific populations such as elder care or first-responder (police, EMTs and others) professionals.

The training is eight hours long—either one, eight-hour session or two, four-hour sessions.  

CEUs: The hosting organization may apply for CEUs.     

What trainees learn: (1) Risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns (2) Strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help (3) A 5-step action plan in a variety of situations, and have the opportunity to practice — through role plays, scenarios, and activities — how to apply these skills in a real-life situation.

Funding your organization’s training:  Get in touch to discuss how we may partner with you to source and apply for funding for this national, evidence-based training. We can also provide you with a sample budget.




Media Inquiries

We welcome the opportunity to work with the media.

Please note it is our policy that all media inquiries regarding any and all Lahey Health Behavioral Services must be made through the Department of Public Relations. Any representative from the media, including but not limited to film crews, reporters, producers, and photographers, must be accompanied by a representative from the Department of Public Relations.

While we must abide by federal HIPAA (patient privacy) laws, we will do everything we can to help you tell your story, meet your deadline and find qualified sources to speak to the issues of mental health, addiction treatment, family services and integrated care models.

You can reach us Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. by contacting the Media Relations Department:


If you need to reach a member of the media relations team after normal business hours, please page them at 781.256.9373 and a member of the department will get back to you.