Mental Health First Aid

Did you know?

You are more likely to encounter a person in an emotional or mental crisis than someone having a heart attack. 

Learn how you can help someone in emotional distress.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a method that can help a person who is in a mental health crisis, and can reduce the possible embarrassment of someone who needs help. MHFA training emphasizes suicide prevention and helps ordinary people to better understand the real struggles a person with mental illness is experiencing.

Would you know what to do if a neighbor, co-worker or family member was experiencing symptoms of mental illness?

Sometimes people are reluctant to ask for help – maybe because they are afraid or embarrassed. How do we help people to reach out early and get the services they need? MHFA trains people to offer help in everyday places where people gather, such as schools, at work, and at coffee shops.

MHFA attendees learn a 5-step action plan made up of the skills and knowledge needed to help an individual in crisis. 

Learn the 5 steps:

  1. Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  2. Listen nonjudgmentally
  3. Give reassurance and information
  4. Encourage appropriate professional help
  5. Encourage self-help & other support strategies

Who should get trained?

  • Workers who interact with the public
  • Educators & school administrators
  • Faith communities
  • Health care professionals
  • Police, first responders and security personnel
  • Social services providers
  • Family members, friends, neighbors & any caring citizen

Find a class in your area today: email​

MHFA in our Community and Nationwide

Ventura County’s Behavioral Health Department (VCBH) supports the President’s commitment to education and early identification of mental health issues by offering Mental Health First Aid to the local community.

In 2011, VCBH launched MHFA in an effort to educate the community. In May 2014, the department celebrated training over 1,400 Ventura County residents in MHFA. Many of those trained include teachers, principals, clergy, counselors, and parents who can now respond in their communities.

Thanks to MHFA USA, 100,000 people now know how to have conversations with their neighbors, family members, colleagues, and friends about mental health and substance use.

For more information, visit Mental Health First Aid USA