Mental Health First Aid Training and Certification

Imagine this scenario:

One day, while walking your dog in the local park, you notice a neighbor up ahead on the trail. Suddenly, he’s staggering, stumbling and then grasping onto the back of a park bench.  His breathing is labored. His complexion has turned ashen.

What would you do?

You would take out your cell phone to dial 9-1-1.   Then, while waiting for the emergency team to arrive, if you knew CPR and/or First Aid, you would try to save your neighbor until the ambulance actually got there.

Now, what if you could learn those same CPR-style skills to help someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis? 

Mental Health First Aid Training and Certification is an 8-hour training to teach participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it helps trainees to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illlness and substance use disorders.

What this training doesn’t do: It doesn’t teach you how to diagnose or treat a mental health issue. Like traditional First Aid programs, it teaches you about the signs, symptoms and how to get help.

Learn more at the Mental Health First Aid website.

Mental Health First Aid is a national and international public education and prevention tool to improve our knowledge of mental health and substance use problems.

To date, 740,000 Americans have been trained via a network of more than 9,000 certified trainers.

Hear from the experts

Watch this video to learn more about Youth Mental Health First Aid and how it can help your school, police department, family or youth center .

Or listen to this NPR interview and profile on how all  police departments in Rhode Island are using this tool to help them work more effectively with those who have mental health issues.

The National Council for Behavioral Health—a national trade group with more than 2,500 member organizations—helped bring Mental Health First Aid to the U.S. in 2008, with the goal of making it as common as traditional First Aid and CPR are today.

There are two types of trainings and certifications: Youth Mental Health First Aid (12 - 21) and Adult Mental Health First Aid (21 and older).

Watch this video for a pre-taste of what this training is like.

Mental Health First Aid and Lahey Health Behavioral Services

As the largest provider of outpatient and inpatient mental health and substance use services north of Boston, we are proud to partner with this national program and, through our certified trainer, to be able to offer it to our community organizations.

The trainees attend an eight-hour training (one long session or two, four-hour sessions) that teaches them a 5-step action plan. Trainees also learn risk factors and warning signs, and about available treatments.

Who Takes This Training?

Certified Trainer Nickey Mullen, LMHC, CEAP, with trainees.

Teachers, guidance counselors, police departments, EMTs, youth workers, families, corrections officers, healthcare workers and anybody who interacts with the public.

Does Mental Health First Aid Actually Work?

Yes. Three quantitiave and one qualitative studies have shown that Mental Health First Aid training (1) improves people’s mental health (2) increases understanding of mental health issues and treatment  (3) connects more people with care and (4) reduces stigma.

Bring This Training To Your Organization

If you work with youth: We can collaborate with you to set up a Youth Mental Health First Aid training for your team. We can also help you develop the budget for  this eight-hour training, including the trainees’ take-home kits, formal certificates and other projected training expenses. 

If you work with adults: In late spring 2017, we will also be offering Adult Mental Health First Aid training and certification.Again, we can work with you to develop the best setup and projected budget for you.

Call Nickey Mullen, our certified trainer, at 978.968.1709 or email us to inquire how we can bring this program to your organization. All trainings are interactive and movement-centered with a maximum of 30 enrolled participants.


New Year's Resolutions: Making Your 2017 Health Changes Stick >

Reporters, health bloggers, producers:

Types of stories and commentary: Mental health, teenage wellness (bullying, suicide, drug use, depression), family health, domestic abuse, sexual assault, drug use, alcoholism and related or proposed state and federal legislation.

Timelines: Usually, we have been able to set a reporter up with an expert interview within 24 hours (or less) of the initial call. While we are often restricted by federal HIPAA laws, we will make every effort to help you to tell your story, meet your deadline and to put a human face on the issues.

Beat: Our programs serve towns and cities in Essex County, the Merrimack Valley and Greater Boston.

Contact: Call us at 978-968-1736 or email us. Check out some recent stories (left), or follow our news ideas on Twitter.