Mental Health First Aid



What is Mental Health First Aid?


Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the help offered to a person who may be developing a mental health problem or in crisis. The help is given until appropriate professional treatment is received or the crisis resolves.  It is designed to give members of the public key skills necessary to appropriately respond to signs of mental illness. Mental Health First Aid is an evidenced-based program. In the next ten years, it is the hope of the The National Council for Behavioral Health that Mental Health First Aid will become as common as CPR and First Aid training. 


Click here to view the official website of Mental Health First Aid.


Who is MHFA intended for?

  • Friends & family of people with mental illness or addiction
  • General public
  • Primary care workers
  • School and college leadership
  • Faith communities
  • Professional associations
  • Parent organizations
  • Social & rotary clubs
  • Community leaders
  • Business community
  • Police officers and first-responders

What Does the program Involve?

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour training course. The program introduces you to risk factors and common warning signs exhibited by someone who may be experiencing mental health problems. Specifically, you will learn:

  • Risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems
  • Prevalence of various mental health disorders and the need for reduced stigma
  • A 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources and knowledge to assess the situation and to help the individual in crisis connect with appropriate care
  • Evidence-based professional, peer, social, and self-help resources available to help someone with a mental health problem.


Mental Health First Aid Facts

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) originated in Australia in 2001 and is now international with programs in countries such as the United Kingdom, China, Canada, Finland, Singapore, and the U.S.  The National Council for Behavioral Health – a national trade group with 2,000 plus member organizations serving eight million Americans nationwide – brought Mental Health First Aid to the United States in 2008.  During the first year of MHFA in the U.S.,the National Council and its members successfully implemented the program in seven states nationwide – with plans for steady expansion.  The National Council selected the program because of its rigorous research backing. Mental Health First Aid has strong evidence backing it. Three quantitative and one qualitative studies have shown that the program: 


  • Improves people’s mental health
  • Increases understanding of mental health issues and treatments
  • Connects more people with care
  • Reduces stigma 

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Mental Health First Aid - Kalamazoo Trainings

Mental Health First Aid Trainings in Kalamazoo

There are two types of Mental Health First Aid courses — Adult and Youth. 


Adult Mental Health First Aid is appropriate for anyone 16 years and older who wants to learn how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health related crisis or problem.


Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people.

Kalamazoo Community Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services offers Mental Health First Aid training for $30 per person, per course.  The costs cover all course materials and lunch. 


Scholarships have been made available, for those who need them, through Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health (SWMBH).  Please contact Julie Helmer for information on the Scholarship Program.


Please note that training locations may vary or change.  Trainings are scheduled for the following dates in Kalamazoo:


  • September 22, 2017 - 8:15 a.m.-4:30p.m. -- Youth --**Please note: Training will take place at Gryphon Place, 3245 South 8th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009**-- Map
  • September 25, 2017 - 8:15 a.m.-4:30p.m. -- Adult --**Please note: Training will take place at Gryphon Place, 3245 South 8th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009**-- Map
  • October 3, 2017 - 8:15 a.m.-4:30p.m. -- Adult --**Please note: Training will take place at KCMHSAS, Conference Room A, 418 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007**-- Map


Continuing education credits are available for both social workers and human resource professionals who complete the Mental Health First Aid 8-hour training course


Registering for a Training

Click here to download the training registration form.  Complete the registration form and email it our Training Department by clicking here


To learn more about Mental Health First Aid, contact Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services at:


(269) 364-6950 or click here to send us an email.


We Have Scholarships!!!

 Please contact Julie Helmer for more information at 269.364.6950

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